KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — There were no working smoke detectors inside a home during a deadly fire in Kannapolis Wednesday morning, firefighters said.
Firefighters responded to a fire at a home in the 300 block of Prince Street a few minutes after 5:30 a.m. When first responders reached the house, it was engulfed in flames. More than 30 firefighters were called out to the scene.
Eight people were able to get out of the home during the fire, according to the Kannapolis Fire Department. Three firefighters suffered minor injuries when a home oxygen cylinder exploded while they were trying to control the fire. The woman who died was identified as 69-year-old Patricia Ann Hyatt.
Kirk Bear, division chief for Kannapolis Fire Department, said having a working smoke detector could have saved some critical time.
"So if there's anything, you know, other than the tragedy that we can take away from this, is that we just stress the importance of working smoke alarms in the house,” Beard said.
The City of Kannapolis will provide smoke alarms free of charge for anyone in need or anyone who can’t afford one, according to Beard. Anyone who would like to request one can call 704.920.4260.
First Evangelical Methodist Church sits next to the house that burned. The church served as a place for the family to take shelter as firefighters worked to put out the flames.
Angie Power, a church member, said the church wanted to help the family in their time of need. She said another pastor in the community brought clothes by for the family, and other community members brought food.
“They lost everything,” Power said. “I mean, not only did they lose a family member, but everything."
Power said the church will be working to collect donations for the family in the coming days.
“They need clothes and shoes, and then, there’s a little boy,” Power said. “He lost all of his toys. They need towels and washcloths and toiletries, so anything like that.”
Power gave NBC Charlotte a list of sizes needed for each family member:
- Boys 6/7 clothes, size 12 shoes, socks, and size 6/7 underwear
- Women’s size 2x shirts, 3x shirts, 22w pants, stretch pants size 2x, and size 8, 10, and 11 shoes
- Men’s pants are needed in sizes 38/30 pants, 40/32 pants, 48/50 pants, 34/32 pants, and 32/32 pants
- Men’s shirts are needed in sizes XL, 2x, 3x, and large
- Men’s shoes are need in sizes 10.5, 11, 13, 11.5, and 13.
Power said the church will be accepting donations from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sunday. Wee Lambs Child Care Center across from the church will also be accepting donations from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, although it will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday and Friday.
Monetary donations or checks can be mailed to 212 Prince Street, Kannapolis, NC 28083 with “Hyatt Family” in the memo line.
"Just keep them in your thoughts and prayers because they did lose a loved one,” Power said.