SALISBURY, N.C. -- Investigators say it appears an electrical problem is to blame for a fire that damaged missing Rowan County teen Erica Parsons' family home.
The fire started in a wall behind a microwave. Officials say it does not appear to be arson or sabotage, but the cause is still under investigation.
Homeowner William Parsons turned the electrical breakers back on for the first time Wednesday morning since he cut power to the house after Casey and Sandy Parsons moved out as part of an eviction notice settlement.
A few minutes later he heard popping in the wall above the microwave, smelled smoke and saw flames.
"I tried to put it out but my jacket didn't work. So I just called 911 and they told me to get out of the house -- been out ever since," Parsons said.
Firefighters went in with hoses and found the kitchen and microwave on fire.
It took about ten minutes to put it out.
Now, the kitchen where Erica Parsons ate before she went missing is damaged, especially the cabinets. The rest of the house where Casey and Sandy Parsons made their family home before Erica was reported missing two months ago has smoke and water damage, but it not a total loss.
"There's nothing that gives us the indication that an accelerant was used. There are no patterns that would usually be involved in that that we've noticed,” said Rowan County Fire Division Chief Aaron Youngblood.
Investigators spent the afternoon in the house trying to find parts of the microwave that burned. They finally removed it late Wednesday afternoon.
Youngblood says the FBI and ATF want to examine the microwave since it came from the house agents searched in August while conducting a search warrant looking for clues to Erica's disappearance.
Youngblood says the Parsons did some home remodeling that included wiring about a year ago.