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LUCAMA — A century-old Wilson County home was destroyed by fire while the resident was away at a doctor appointment.
The single-story wooden house is located at 7328 Fate Road, off Wheat Swamp Road and about 4 miles south of Lucama.
According to Jeff Collier, assistant chief of the Black Creek Volunteer Fire Department, the home was a total loss.
Fire was discovered just after 8:30 a.m. by a worker checking the condition of fire hydrants.
“He’s the one that noticed it,” Collier said. “He had smoke conditions. By the time the first engines arrived, it was already through the roof right in the middle of the house.”
The flames, Collier said, were 20 feet above the roof line.
Collier said firefighters checked the front part of the house to make sure nobody was inside.
“We did a quick search on the front, which was all we could do,” Collier said. “Everything else was involved. After we found out that the homeowner was gone and nobody else was supposed to be here, we backed out and started defensive operations.”
It took more than an hour to get the blaze under control.
Firefighters attacked from all four sides of the house and at one point used a deck gun from the top of a pumper, shooting water all the way from the road into the engulfed structure.
The home is right at the border of the Crossroads and Black Creek fire districts.
Volunteer departments responding included Black Creek, Crossroads, Polly Watson, Fremont and Stantonsburg-Moyton.
Linda Davis and Jennings Davis own the home.
Their son, Edward Davis, was the sole occupant.
“I’ve been gone since early this morning. I had to go to the doctor early this morning,” Edward Davis said as he and his father watched from the yard while firefighters worked to extinguish the fire.
“This is my mama’s old homeplace,” Edward Davis said.
A Wilson County Sheriff’s Office deputy had informed Linda Davis that her family’s home was ablaze.
“She didn’t want to come over here,” Edward Davis said.
“I’ve stayed here about a year,” he added. “I was just fixing it up. It’s about 137-odd years old. I have just been fixing it up since I’ve been here. It was pretty nice on the inside.”
Davis said his dog, the only other occupant, was not in the house when it caught fire.
The Wilson County Sheriff’s Office and Wilson County EMS were also on the scene.
Collier said there were no injuries among the firefighters who responded.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.