Ashe County firefighters battled blazes at three structure fires yesterday, taking on the challenges of extreme cold and icy, snow-covered access in all three.  The most loss came in an early afternoon fire in the Jefferson district, a rental house at 5229 US 221 North. A number of departments joined the Jefferson Fire Department at the scene, but the house was well involved in flames, Fire Marshal Bob Davis saying the house was totaled in the blaze.  Davis said the rental house was unoccupied at the time, and belonged to Jeff and Linda Badger.  He indicated that the fire may have started at a wall mounted heater in a bathroom, the blaze climbing the wall, and once it broke through to the attic, the fire was well out of control.
The Jefferson fire came while Creston, Todd, West Jefferson, Pond Mountain, and others battled fire, the elements, and water issues to save a house next to a garage that was fully involved in fire when they arrived. The 11am call was to 2137 Pine Mountain Road in Creston, the fire reported as involving a truck which was parked in the garage, very close to the house.  When first units arrived, both the truck and the garage were fully involved, that building totaled.  Water issues—no near-by water point—hampered the departments’ efforts, as tanker after tanker had to bring water over the narrow, icy roads to the scene. Reports indicated that effort managed to save the house, too close to the garage to have otherwise been spared.
Fire departments from three counties spent Wednesday overnight on a fire in an area just off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Laurel Springs.  Glendale Springs, Laurel Springs, Wilbar and other departments were called to the midnight fire at 1400 Don Bare Road, with many of those departments returning at dawn to a flare-up at the house.  Wilkes County American Red Cross volunteers responded to the fire scene, assisting the one adult resident providing lodging, food, clothing and food, warm coats, and providing for a storage container for items salvaged from the home.