Tony Barker, 36, died of electrocution at a fire at Dale’s Tire & Auto on Traphill Road this evening. Barker was a volunteer firefighter with the Mountain View Fire Department.
Barker had been a firefighter for almost a year and a half. He left behind a wife and 3 year old son. He was employed by the Phillip VAn Hausen Distribution Center in Jonesville. The Mountain View FD is located in Wilkes County, NC.
I will update this information as more is released
Authorities said Tony Barker, a member of the Mountain View Fire Department for a year and five months, was electrocuted at the scene of a small fire shortly after 3 p.m. after wind blew part of a large maple tree across power lines behind Dale’s Tire & Auto (formerly Absher’s Garage) on Traphill Road near the Yellow Banks Road intersection.
A woman who lives near the scene said she saw Barker bending over as if to look more closely where flames were coming from beneath a small metal storage building behind the Dale’s Tire & Auto building when he collapsed and she called for help. Other firefighters responded and pulled Barker away from the building.
Efforts by Mountain View Fire Department first responders and Wilkes Emergency Medical Services to revive Barker with CPR were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at Wilkes Regional Medical Center.
The woman indicated Barker was less than three feet away from the storage building and said she never saw him touch the structure.
Wilkes Fire Marshal Kevin Bounds and other emergency personnel also reported that Barker was electrocuted without touching the building. They said electricity from the power lines on the storage building moved through the building and unpaved ground to Barker. They said the ground was saturated with rainwater that accompanied the wind, which helped conduct electricity.