Updated: State Road blaze destroys salvage yard

By Anthony Gonzalez agonzalez@civitasmedia.com

January 23, 2014

STATE ROAD — State Road Salvage erupted into flames on Thursday afternoon.

The salvage yard is located at 1850 U.S. 21 in State Road.

The fire was called into 911 by Swift’s Body Shop located across the street from the salvage yard at about 12:45 p.m.

“I was just sitting at my desk and looked over the street and saw a car in the bay to the left. All of the sudden the area was filled with black smoke and fire,” said Creole Moody of Swift’s Body Shop. “It’s sad. I was in that building when it opened in 1960. Our business used to be there.”

“My daughter reacted quickly and called 911,” said B. Allen Moody of the body shop. “She was put on hold for a while.”

A conversation erupted in the body shop filled with bystanders and eyewitnesses who said it took more than 15 minutes before a fire department arrived.

“By then it was too late,” said Creole Moody.

Responding to the blaze were volunteer firefighters from State Road Volunteer Fire Department, CC Camp Volunteer Fire Department and Mountain Park Volunteer Fire Department.

According to the manager of the salvage yard, the cause of the fire was a freak accident.

“A car was being stripped in the bay and we dropped the tank…by then it was done,” said Tim Scott, manager of State Road Salvage. “The employee went and got me and our concern was to get out safely. We tried everything possible to stop the fire.”

According to Scott, there were no injuries.

“Rebuilding is going to be totally up to the owners, but you can believe it that they’re here to stay,” said Scott. “It’s a great company.”

Paramedics were observed on standby and parked in front of the Swift’s Body Shop entrance.

“You can always replace a building. You can’t replace a life, and that’s all that really matters right now,” said B. Allen Moody. “They’re here in case firefighters need aid. As far as the owners, they’ll rebuild. They’ll come back stronger.”

Update: Surry County 911 contacted the newsroom and released the following information pertaining to the calls it received for the State Road Salvage incident.

“Time Received: 12:49:59

Time Dispatched: 12:51:52

Time Unit checked en route: 12:52:35

Time Unit on scene: 13:01:17

“The Surry County 911 Center took several calls on this fire and no caller was placed on hold at any time from our center,” wrote Stephanie Conner, the assistant director for Surry County 911.

B. Allen Moody was contacted on Friday and asked for the type of communication used by his daughter to contact 911. He indicated it was a cell phone.

According to Surry County 911, it is possible that a cell phone call may have been routed to the neighboring county (Wilkes).

“A cell phone will route by the strongest signal,” wrote Conner.

It is unknown if Wilkes County 911 received a routed call. Efforts to contact its director, Ricky Minton, were not successful by deadline.

Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 835-1513 or follow on Twitter @NewsGonz.