06/29/04 — SBI investigates Mount Olive house fire

View Archive

SBI investigates Mount Olive house fire

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on June 29, 2004 1:58 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- The State Bureau of Investigation is investigting a fire that heavily damaged an unoccupied house Sunday night at 402 N. Center St.

Mount Olive, Dudley and Calypso volunteers responded to the 10 p.m. call to the big two-story house, which is at the corner of College and Center streets across from the Mount Olive Fire Department.

Firefighters couldn't tell where the fire started, said Mount Olive's Assistant Chief Greg Wiggins. The house was totally involved when the three trucks arrived.

"It was a ball of fire when we got there," said Wiggins. "We had to 'surround and drown.' We had no chance of going in and making an offensive attack. We pretty much had to protect the surrounding property. It blistered some shingles on the top of a neighbor's house."

Wiggins said the owners, David and Susan Benbow, moved things out of the house that afternoon. A few personal effects were still inside, and it was basically empty at that point. The house had been put on the market for sale.

Damage was set at $100,000. The house was a total loss.