01/22/04 — Fire claims life of woman,son

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Fire claims life of woman,son

By Staff and Wire
Published in News on January 22, 2004 2:03 PM

From AP and staff reports

HOLLY RIDGE -- An 8-year-old boy and his mother's boyfriend died in a house fire early Wednesday. The mother and another son escaped.

The mother, Frances Shelly Bailey, grew up in Wayne County. She moved from the Dudley area a little over a year ago, said her aunt, Jackye Cushing.

Ms. Bailey's youngest son, Steven Scott Hooker Jr., age 8, died in the fire. Funeral arrangements for him are being handled by Shumate Faulk Funeral Home.

Her 13-year-old son, Kevin Bailey, ran next door for help and was treated for minor injuries.

Ms. Bailey, escaped with burns to her back and chest, King said. Ms. Cushing said she is in the Burn Center in Chapel Hill in intensive care.

Bailey's boyfriend, Art Pinkston, 36, went back in the house to help another person, said Eddie King, director of emergency management for Pender County.

King said the second victim couldn't be positively identified until an autopsy was performed Thursday, but neighbors told WWAY-TV that it was Ms. Bailey's 8-year-old son, Steven Hooker.

The fire started about 1 a.m. in the home on N.C. Highway 50, said King. King said the fire, which was confined to the living room and kitchen, appeared to start in a couch.

Ms. Cushing said the family did not have insurance. Ms. Bailey's father, Zeb Smith, lives in the New Hope area. Her mother, Judy McGinnis McDonald lives in Lillington. Ms. Bailey graduated from Eastern Wayne High School. She is 35.