BETHLEHEM, NC — A woman was airlifted to a Winston-Salem hospital after she was overcome with smoke in her Bethlehem home Tuesday.
And fire investigators said they think the fire was intentionally set.
Bethlehem Fire and Rescue Deputy Chief Jeff Davis said Kimberly Stiles suffered smoke inhalation. She was flown to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, fire officials said.
Mark Earle, deputy fire marshal for Alexander County, said it appears the fire was intentionally set by Stiles. Stiles is the only one who lives at the home, according to family and fire officials.
There was evidence of a flammable liquid having been poured down the hallway from the bedroom to the living room. Damage to the home was estimated at $1,000, Earle said.
Davis said when firefighters got to the split-level home all they saw was smoke.
Robert Stiles showed up at the scene and said the woman airlifted is his sister, Stiles, 51.
“ We don’t know anything at all, really,” Robert Stiles said.
He said his sister lives by herself with two small dogs and two cats. Davis said the pets were fine when they got to the home.
Robert Stiles said his sister called him and said the house was on fire. His wife called 911 and they told her to get out. His wife called Kimberly Stiles back and she told Robert’s wife she couldn’t get out of the house.
Davis said a sheriff’s deputy went to Kimberly Stiles’ home to check on her and saw smoke coming from the home. Earle said a deputy tried to kick in a door and enter the home but there was too much smoke.
WSOC Channel 9 said the woman was rescued after firefighters broke through a second-floor window and took her down a ladder. In addition to smoke inhalation, Earle said the woman reportedly had burns on one of her arms.
Robert Stiles said the home was where the two siblings grew up and their parents left the home to Kimberly Stiles.
No charges have been filed in the case, Earle said. He said any charges will be up to the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office and the district attorney.
Bethlehem Fire and Rescue responded to the fire, with Wittenburg Fire Department and Ellendale Fire Department lending mutual aid.