11/25/05 — Fire destroys house in Saulston

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Fire destroys house in Saulston

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on November 25, 2005 1:49 PM

A lifetime of memories went up in smoke today when fire destroyed a century-old farmhouse at 287 Coley Road in northern Wayne County.

The only resident, Edward Hamilton, had gone to his garden to collect collards, saw the early-morning fire as he was walking back and called 911.

Fire officials were battling the blaze at mid-morning and had not determined the cause. But Hamilton said he had left a small heater on in a bathroom.

Hamilton said he had lived in the six-room, white-frame house for almost 15 years. He said it was his grandmother's home, and it was owned by a first cousin, Cedric Dickerson of Wilmington. He said many uncles, aunts and grandchildren had lived in the home that he believed was at least 100 years old.

"I went to get some collards," he said as he and relatives and friends watched the fire. "I saw a little smoke but didn't pay any mind to it. By the time I got back, it was too hot to get inside. I couldn't get inside to save anything."

Hamilton said he heard the windows popping and called the fire department.

Patetown firefighters responded quickly and were assisted by Saulston and Antioch volunteers. They had to shuttle water from a hydrant on the road to the home that stood about a half-mile away at the end of a dirt driveway.

Hamilton said he had no insurance.

"You never think you'll need it," he said.

Hamilton said he and other family members had farmed the land around the home for decades.

Now he is not sure what he will do, but he said he might stay with one of his sisters.