The home of Edward “Junior” Frye at 174 Radio Road Lot #1 exploded and burned early this morning as responding units from local fire departments contained the blaze and kept it from spreading to a neighboring home.
“Around 1:30 I heard something sounded like a shotgun go off,” said Margaret McCoy, a neighbor of Frye’s whose trailer sits close by the burned residence.
“It blew all the windows plumb out,” said Johnny McCoy, who also lives next door. The McCoys came outside to find the Frye residence engulfed in flames and Frye, who had managed to escape out the back door of the trailer home, standing some distance away with an oxygen bottle in tow.
Frye, 53, lives alone and is on oxygen therapy, according to the McCoy’s. An aluminum oxygen tank with a large hole melted in the side still lay on a smoldering matteress in the front yard this morning.
Ashe County Fire Marshall Bobby Davis said there was no conclusive evidence an oxygen bottle explosion either caused or resulted from the fire, which “definitely had a point of origin in the living room.”
The fire is still under investigation, he said.
Frye said he was roused by his smoke detector before the blaze became general, according to Davis.
Mrs. McCoy said the emergency reponse team, which stayed on the scene until approxiamtely 5:30 a.m., hosed down her trailer to keep it from catching fire.
Frye was taken to Ashe Memorial Hospital where he was treated and released, according to Patty Faw, a hospital public relations assisstant.
Davis said the Red Cross has been contacted to provide aid to Frye.