The cause of a fire that damaged a house at 809 E Street, North Wilkesboro, Thursday night is suspicious and remains under investigation, said North Wilkesboro Fire Chief Jimmy Martin.

Martin said the investigation determined that the fire began in a stroller or cart near the back outside wall of the house and spread to the wall. The cause of the fire in the stroller or cart hasn’t been determined and only its wheels remained, he said.

He said fire burned the back wall and spread to an upstairs closet, but otherwise most of the damage in the interior was from smoke. Martin said the 1,632-square-foot house is repairable, but he didn’t know if there is homeowner’s insurance on the structure.

Martin said Denise Jarvis, owner and occupant of the house, wasn’t home at the time of the fire. Firefighters were dispatched at 9:44 p.m. Thursday and found flames at the rear of the house and smoke rolling from the top.

They brought it under control but had to cut through the roof to vent the fire and provide access to fight it more effectively. Firefighters were on the scene until at least 1 a.m. Friday. There were no injuries.

The 1 ½-story wood frame home, built in 1924, is directly across the street from North Wilkesboro Presbyterian Church.

Assisting the North Wilkesboro Fire Department were the Wilkesboro, Broadway and Mulberry-Fairplains fire departments with men and fire trucks. The Wilkes Rescue Squad and Wilkes Emergency Medical Services also responded.

Martin, Wilkes Fire Marshal Niki Hamby and Assistant Wilkes Fire Marshal Tim Pardue are investigating.

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