A home at 3026 Elk Creek-Darby Road in the Ferguson community was destroyed by fire Monday morning.

Ferguson Fire Chief Jeff Matherly said firefighters were dispatched at 5:49 a.m. and found flames coming through the roof of the house upon arrival.

Matherly said that despite the rapid response of firefighters, the fire had advanced too far to save the wood frame and rock house. The house had a little over 2,500 square feet of floor space and an attached garage.

Jean Edmiston McNeil owned and live in the house. Matherly said she was awakened by her dogs in time for her and the dogs to escape from the burning structure without serious injuries.

McNeil, in her 70s, escaped through a window and attempted to fight the fire with a water hose.

The Wilkes Rescue Squad treated McNeil for smoke inhalation at the scene. Matherly said a family member was going to take her to a hospital for possible treatment for smoke inhalation.

Matherly said McNeil has insurance on the structure and currently is staying with relatives. He said the cause of the fire wasn't determined.

A passing motorist reported the fire to the Wilkes Communications Center, he said. It was near where Triplett Town Road intersects with Elk Creek-Darby Road.

The Champion and Goshen fire departments assisted Ferguson. Firefighters were on the scene until about 10:30 a.m. Monday.

The home was built by McNeil's father, the late Jim Edmiston, in 1942. It largely consisted of stone from nearby.

Jim Edmiston started Edmiston Hydraulics (now Edmiston Hydraulic Sawmill Equipment Co.) behind the house and was known for his innovations with sawmilling equipment. The business, still in the family, is now on N.C. 268 West in Ferguson.

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