Rocky Mount firefighters investigate cemetery fires


ROCKY MOUNT — City firefighters responded twice in two days to fires at Unity Cemetery.

No firefighters or civilians were injured or killed in either fire. The exact cause and ignition source of the two fires could not be determined, said Kirk Brown, the city’s director of communications, marketing and public relations.

A resident alerted city firefighters to a possible fire behind Shaq’s After Dark, 1300 E. Holly St., at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 20, Brown said.

Fire crews arrived to find a wooded area approximately 900 square feet burning in the unit cemetery.

“Crews deployed an abseiling reel and maneuvered over rather difficult terrain of recently cut tree stumps and sunken graves to extinguish the fire,” Brown said. “Firefighters remained on site for about an hour to monitor the fire for any rekindling.”

The city’s fire investigation team investigated the fire and could not determine the exact cause. Officials say investigators have found no evidence to suggest the fire was started intentionally.

A second fire in the same area was reported to the central city dispatch at 5:45 p.m. on February 21.

“Crews arrived on scene within three minutes to find an area adjacent to the previous fire,” Brown said. “Again a booster reel was used to extinguish the fire.”

Half an acre was burned in the second fire. Fire investigators ruled the cause of the second fire undetermined. No ignition source could be identified.


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