• Man dies in Rowan Co. mobile home fire, officials say

    By: Torie Wells

    Updated:

    WOODLEAF, N.C. - Investigators are working to figure out what caused a fatal fire in Rowan County Friday morning.

    Officials said they will not release the man’s name until they hear from the medical examiner.

    Family members said the man who lived at the fire-damaged home was Kenneth Ray Koontz.

    The mobile home, on Cone Drive, was quickly destroyed by the raging fire, firefighters said.

    "I saw smoke coming through my backyard and I heard someone yell fire," said neighbor Katie Basinger.

    The fire burned so quickly that a volunteer firefighter, who was driving by as the call came in, said he could not save the man inside.

    "I told him someone was inside. He busted the glass and the smoke came pouring out," Basinger said.

    "There was a smoke detector inside but when you're dealing with a single wide they can go up in as little as five minutes," said Rowan County Fire Investigator Deborah Horne.

    Fire crews arrived soon after the volunteer. They worked around live power lines until Duke Energy shut off power to the home.

    They said it appears as though the fire started in the kitchen, but are still investigating.

    Family members said the man who lived at the home loved his family.  They said he had a son and a daughter and described him as generous.
                   
    Family said he was close with his 93-year-old mother. She came by Friday morning to make his breakfast and found crews fighting the fire.

    "She has asked for prayer for the family and we are trying to put it out on the prayer list for all the local churches," Horne said.


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