GREENSBORO — Two house fires since Wednesday have claimed the lives of two children and an adult — and left another adult in critical condition, officials said.
Greensboro fire officials confirmed that two children pulled by firefighters from a burning home late Thursday morning were pronounced dead at the scene.
An adult female was outside the home in the 1800 block of Glenside Drive when firefighters arrived at 11:35 a.m. to find heavy smoke and flames, according to Greensboro Deputy Fire Chief Dwayne Church. The woman was able to direct firefighters to where the two children should be inside the home. The department immediately called for additional resources.
Firefighters were able to remove the children from the burning home and place them into the care of EMS personnel, who pronounced both dead. Their ages were not available.
“It’s devastating for all of us,” Church said.
The adult female was transported to Moses Cone Hospital and listed in critical condition late Thursday afternoon.
Church said the department is not yet releasing any information about the woman’s relationship to the children.
Firefighters extinguished the blaze by noon and began remediating smoke and carbon monoxide levels so that investigators could safely enter to try to determine the cause. Firefighters also found two deceased dogs in the home, Church said.
Meanwhile in Summerfield, the Guilford County Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating another deadly blaze — this one occurring before sunrise on Wednesday.
At 4:41 a.m., firefighters were called to a residence in the 6200 block of Horseshoe Drive, where two people lived with two dogs.
One of the residents was pulled from the blaze and later died at a local hospital, Assistant Chief Jenna Daniels said by telephone on Thursday.
The other resident was able to escape with one of the dogs. The other dog perished in the fire.
The residents’ names were not immediately available.
Responding firefighters from Summerfield noticed that they did not hear any smoke detectors when they arrived at the home, Daniels said.
An estimated 30 firefighters from departments in Summerfield and Greensboro were on the scene. The fire was determined to be under control by 6:22 a.m., but crews stayed well after that, Daniels said.
To describe Lee Danhauer as a diehard Kentucky fan is a gross understatement. His devotion has no limits, and if you need proof, just ask him about the power company that serves much of North Carolina.
“Duke is a four-letter word in our house,” said Danhauer, an auctioneer who has traveled the world and lives in Winston-Salem. “You know, we used to write the checks to Duke Power. When we first moved here, I used to write them to ‘D-O-O-K.’
“I did get a letter one time, though, saying, you know, while we understand it’s your allegiance ... you still have to spell the name correctly,” he said, noting that it was around the fifth time he’d sent such a check with his special spelling that he was advised to fix it.
Such is the state of Big Blue Nation, and thousands of its fans are expected to descend on Greensboro on Friday to watch their beloved Wildcats play Providence in the first round of the East Regional at the Greensboro Coliseum. The game tips off at 7:10 p.m.
Iowa State players “practice” their half-court shots during a workout on Thursday at the Greensboro Coliseum ahead of Friday’s NCAA Tournament game.
Danhauer’s devotion is so deep that when his four sons were born, Danhauer passed on the hospital-issued onesie, opting instead for onesies in Kentucky blue. And he has handed down his disdain for the Blue Devils to his children.
“My 9-year-old, if he sees the word, he points it out,” he said. “That’s the D-word in our house.”
After putting out a plea on social media for tickets for the game, a friend delivered center court seats for Danhauer and three of his sons. The fourth son will be working, and his wife, Suzanne, a professor at Wake Forest, will actually be in Lexington, Kentucky, visiting a friend.
“They’ll be watching, but I’m going to tell you she’s not very happy with me right now when she found out where the seats were,” he said.
The University of Kentucky takes the floor at the Greensboro Coliseum to practice before Friday night’s NCAA Tournament game against Providence.
Anne Wooten Green, who also lives in Winston-Salem, is no less fervent. Before she got married in 1984, she checked the calendar to make sure she didn’t miss the Final Four, which is a good thing because the Wildcats advanced to Seattle, where they lost to Georgetown.
“For some reason, we went to our respective parents’ houses that Saturday to watch the game,” she said. “And I talked my mom into renting a big screen TV. And she was so mad after that game (because) I talked her into it. I thought I was going to have to pay her for it, but I didn’t.”
When Green saw that there was another chance to see her Wildcats without a long drive or a plane ride, she responded accordingly.
“Well, I screamed, ‘Oh, my god, oh, my god, they’re going to be in Greensboro,” Green said. “It’s like my husband was a little slow on the uptake because (he said) ‘They will be’ and I said, ‘We’re going.’”
Green’s daughter will join her after she gets off work at a local restaurant. Her son, however, is in a wedding this weekend and will have to catch the scores on a mobile device or the nearest television. There’s one wedding keeping a Green from seeing Kentucky play.
“And I texted him and said, ‘Are you sure you don’t want to go?’” she said. “And he goes, ‘I can’t go.’ So he’s really disappointed.”
Green is a little concerned about the Wildcats (21-11). They lost twice to Vanderbilt in a 10-day stretch, including an 80-73 loss in the SEC Tournament. She also remembers Kentucky’s loss to St. Peter’s in last year’s tournament, a setback that led her to shun her Wildcats garb for three months. And this year’s team has been on a roller-coaster ride.
“You know, they’re up, they’re down,” she said. “They were out until two and a half weeks ago. Now, they’re in, another six seed, which I think is extremely generous.
Elijah Capel, son of Pitt head men’s basketball coach Jeff Capel, warms up with the rest of the Panthers at the Greensboro Coliseum on Thursday.
“Vanderbilt beat (Kentucky) like twice in two weeks and they didn’t even make it, which I thought Vanderbilt should be a team that was in. So, I mean, who’s gonna show up?” Green asked.
Jena and Bill Hale of High Point took in the Kentucky practice on Thursday from the two seats they purchased for Friday night’s game. The couple moved to High Point from Kentucky for his job as a chemist for a paint company.
“I was sitting on my couch and I said, ‘Kentucky’s going to Greensboro!” said Bill Hale, thrusting his left arm into the air to illustrate his excitement on Selection Sunday. “I was excited because I was sitting there thinking they’ll put Duke there or they’ll ship us out West. But I was excited that they were right here, local.”
Meredith Weber, director of alumni communications with the UK Alumni Association, said Kentucky fans will travel whether they live in town or miles and miles away. There are alumni groups in Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte, all about a 90-minute drive from Greensboro.
“I always feel like the sea of blue always grows and grows no matter where you go,” Weber said. “With it being in driving distance and having some active clubs in the area, there’s going to be lots of excitement for all of our fans this weekend.”
If Green, Danhauer and the Hales can get there, they can join their Big Blue brethren for a pep rally at 4 p.m. on Friday at Steel Hands Brewing on Gate City Boulevard and across the street from the Greensboro Coliseum. It’s free and open to the public.
GREENSBORO — Gov. Roy Cooper visited Northern Guilford High School on Thursday to tout his newly released budget proposals — including a plan to raise teacher salaries by an average of 18% over the text two years.
On hand and boosting his message was Leah Carper — the educator who has been on leave from Northern this school year in her role as the 2022 North Carolina Teacher of the Year.
“We have 1.5 million public school students in our state who deserve this investment,” Carper said. “When we are investing in them we are investing in their future, but we are also investing in the future of North Carolina.”
She shared a long list of activities she’d completed in just the last couple of weeks, everything from training beginning teachers at N.C. A&T to feeding a pig as Carper toured school districts across the state.
Superintendent Whitney Oakley also pointed to Cooper’s proposal to raise teacher pay in her remarks.
“Here in North Carolina a teacher entering the field with zero years of experience can make the same as an Uber driver here in North Carolina,” Oakley said. “And while those are important, think about the credentials that are needed to be a classroom teacher.”
On Thursday, Cooper said the state has 5,000 teacher vacancies.
“There’s a reason for that,” he explained. “We need to treat our educators with more respect and we need to give them better pay and and more support.”
If enacted, Cooper proposals would, within two years, result in a minimum salary for teachers of $46,000 a year, with most making somewhat more due to local supplements.
Oakley also had a chance to speak with Cooper privately and pitch the district’s legislative agenda to the Democratic governor. That includes trying to secure state money for “high dosage” tutoring and learning hubs — academic interventions needed to help students recover from pandemic learning loss that the district has been funding with federal dollars and grants.
For Cooper’s benefit, the school held a special learning hub session so he could see students and tutors in action. At Northern, those typically take place before or after school and on some Saturdays.
Also on Thursday, N.C. Rep. Ashton Clemmons, a Democrat representing Greensboro, filed a bill that would provide $3.3 million for learning hubs, $3.1 million for the high dosage tutoring program and $2.5 million to support signature career academies, which are part of the district’s career and technical education offerings.