Fire damages historic home

Jan. 22, 2013 @ 06:02 PM

A Monday evening fire heavily damaged a historic house in High Point that is affiliated with the J.H. Adams Inn.
Firefighters responded to 1013 Johnson St. about 9 p.m. and saw fire and smoke coming from the two-story Dalton House, which is behind the Adams Inn’s N. Main Street hotel and restaurant.
It took about three hours to get the fire extinguished. It caused extensive damage to the house, which was built in 1914. The attic was destroyed, as was a kitchen facility, den and bedroom. The home was being rented by two women, one of whom was inside at the time. She and her dog made it out safely. A firefighter battling the blaze at one point became overheated but went back to work after receiving treatment at the scene, said High Point Fire Department Capt. Denita Lynch.
The inn and the house are owned by a company in Clemmons. Adams Inn General Manager Mena Parrish said she leases both properties and was renting out the Dalton House to two tenants.
Parrish said her husband was walking their dogs behind the house when he spotted a small fire on the ground outside the rear porch area.
He tried to extinguish it with a bucket of melted ice and then ran to hook up a garden hose, Parrish said. The fire was apparently fueled by the wind and spread quickly up the walls of the house and into the attic. Parrish said her husband ran inside and alerted the occupant.
Firefighters were able to salvage some of the belongings of the occupants, including the passport and green card of one of the women, who is from England, Parrish said.
Fire officials as of Tuesday had not been able to determine what caused the fire. Parrish said she had been told by investigators that the fire was not electrical or gas-related and was not intentionally set.
Parrish said she was not sure yet how much of the house might be salvageable. She and others were able to walk around both floors on Tuesday, surveying the damage. Much of the ceiling had been burned through and the walls were charred throughout.
“It would just kill me if we couldn’t restore it,” she said.
No damage estimate was available Tuesday. Lynch said the house was not considered a total loss, but the fire caused a significant amount of damage to the exterior, as well as the rear portion of the property and the attic. There was heavy smoke and water damage to the remainder of the house, Lynch said.