- Written by Steve Frank
The man burned and airlifted after a fire at a Newland home late Monday night is hospitalized today with third degree burns to his head and arms. Other members of his family escaped the fire that destroyed their home as fire personnel from Newland, Linville, Crossnore, Elk Park and Frank fire departments spent much of the night working on a house fire at 870 Pineola Street in Newland. The call came in about midnight, first arriving units reporting smoke pouring from the structure, visible on all sides. Family members told our sister station WECR-AM that Steve Lecka was rushed to the hospital, then airlifted, finally transferred to Wake Forest Baptist Hospital suffering burns to his head and arms while the other three family members escaped unharmed. The battle with the blaze went on most of the night, NC 194 blocked for the duration, with units having to return at dawn to the scene to a flare-up. The cause is yet to be determined, with Avery fire investigators to return after the site has cooled and the weather improves.