SHAWBORO — A heating pad may be to blame for the fire that destroyed a woman’s World War I-era home Thursday near the Shawboro community in Currituck County.
Linda Gallop, 64, was not injured in the blaze that gutted her wood-framed residence in the 1200 block of Shawboro Road.
Volunteer firefighters from Currituck and Camden counties responded to the fire at approximately 11:50 a.m.
Details about what caused the blaze were not available Thursday.
But Gallop’s daughter, Valerie Owens, suggested that an electric heating pad her mother uses to warm her bad back may have been the culprit.
Owens said the heating pad was on when her mother got up from her bed to get a sandwich for lunch. When her mother returned to her bedroom, her bed was on fire, Owens said.
Owens, who lives in a mobile home next door, said she was home when she received a phone call from her mother. Owens said her first thought was that her mother had fallen.
“All I could hear was her yelling and screaming in the background and when I came outside, that’s when I saw the house on
fire and she was coming out,” Owens said.
Owens was concerned because her mother, in addition to having a bad back, is a diabetic and is partially blind in one eye. Owens said she was also concerned because a small propane tank
was located beside her mother’s house.
Gallop, who was quietly eating a TV dinner at her daughter’s house while firefighters fought to extinguish the flames at her home, said when she saw the fire and realized she couldn’t save her house, she got out as quickly as she could.
Owens said her brother, Richard Gallop, also lived in the home but was at work at the time of the fire. Owens said both her mother and brother will stay with her.
Owens said the house was special to her mother because, in addition to living there all her life, it was built by members of her mother’s family and dated as far back as World War I.
Owens commended the firefighters who tried to save her mother’s home.
“They did the best they could,” she said.