Firefighters saved the lives of two people trapped on the second floor of a burning condominium Saturday night in Aberdeen.
Multiple fire units were dispatched shortly after 10:00 pm to a fire at a two-story building located at 132 and 232 Old Course Road off of Pit Link Lane.
The first arriving law enforcement units reported heavy flames and smoke showing from the two story building as well as a large area of woods around the small complex on fire.
Firefighters arrived on the scene and immediately split into two groups with the first group from Aberdeen focused on rescuing two people trapped on the second floor while the second team from Pinehurst began an attack on the large fire.
According to fire officials a fireman from Aberdeen was able to climb a ladder and reach the two trapped people. While the first victim was coming out the window and start down the ladder the two reportedly fell to the ground. The firefighter was reportedly not injured and remained working at the scene; however the victim did receive non-life threatening injuries from the fall. A second firefighter immediatly went up the ladder and assisted the second victim out the window and safely to the ground.
The two people that were rescued were transported by ambulance to FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst for smoke inhalation and injuries related to the fall the one victim had.
Firefighters were able to bring the fire under control in approximately one hour but continued working to fully extinguish the fire and remaining hot spots for almost 4 and ½ hours more finally clearing from the scene shortly after 3:30 am.
According to Aberdeen Fire Chief Phillip Richardson one of the primary contributing reasons the fire spread so rapidly in size and intensity before the arrival of emergency responders was due to the high winds that were blowing in our area at the time of the fire.
In addition to the two units that were destroyed in the blaze, the exterior of adjoining units was also damaged by the intense heat, however firefighters were able to stop the fire from spreading further. Four vehicles that were parked near the burning units were either destroyed or damaged by the fire
The American Red Cross responded to the scene tonight to assist people that were displaced due to the fire.
Also responding to this large incident were units with Aberdeen Fire & Rescue, Pinebluff Fire & Rescue, Southern Pines Fire & Rescue, Pinehurst Fire & Rescue, West End Fire & Rescue, Eastwood Fire & Rescue, Fort Bragg Fire Department, Hoke County Fire Station 7, NC Forest Service, Moore County EMS, Moore County Public Safety, Aberdeen Police Department, Moore County Sheriff’s Department, and the NC State Highway Patrol.
Immediatly after the fire was dispatched we received multiple reports from readers in the Aberdeen and Pinehurst area who said they had heard a load explosion near the time of the fire. It is not known at this time if the reported loud sound is related to this fire or not.
The cause of the blaze is under investigation by fire officials.
We will update readers with additional details as they become available.
(Correction: Initial reports were that there were no injuries when a firefighter and victim fell while coming down a ladder. In an update from officials the firefighter was not injured and remained working at the fire scene; however the victim did receive non-life threatening injuries as a result of the fall.)
(Updated March 4, 2018 4:15 am)