12/01/05 — Morning fire destroys local family's home

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Morning fire destroys local family's home

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on December 1, 2005 1:48 PM

A treasured family Bible was one of the few items left undamaged after fire nearly destroyed a house at 1002 S. Slocumb St. on Wednesday.

Phyllis Warren said family members were amazed to find the book intact after firefighters extinguished the flames.

"I plan on keeping that Bible," she said. "It's a reminder."

Her sister, Rebecca Warren, discovered the Bible in the living room.

"A miracle. That's the only way to describe it. If you could see that house from the inside ... it's a miracle," Rebecca Warren said.

Bible survived fire

News-Argus/Lisa Teachey

Phyllis Warren, left, and her sister Rebecca Warren show a bible that survived the fire.

Mrs. Warren and her husband, Willie, escaped the fire but said they had lost most of their belongings, including Christmas gifts.

She said they plan to live with her husband's sister until they decide what to do .

Investigators with the Goldsboro Fire Department said the fire started in the living room, between a coffee table and an oil heater. But they were not sure about what caused it.

"The heavy burn patterns were at the coffee table. It was hard to tell what exactly started it," Lt. Frank Sasser said.

Sasser said the Warrens told firefighters they had been having trouble with an oil heater but that the owner of the four-room wooden house, Thaddeus Best, had had a repairmen check it and that the repairman had found it in good working order.

Fourteen firefighters responded to the 9:40 a.m. alarm with three engines, a ladder and a command car. The first unit arrived at 9:44 a.m.

When the firefighters arrived flames were already shooting out the front of the structure, Sasser said. Three rooms of the house were destroyed, with smoke and heat damage in the rest of the building.

Firefighters got the fire under control in five minutes.

"We felt like the oil heater played a part in the fire," Sasser said. "We're not saying it caused the fire, but it helped fuel the fire."

He said both Warrens smoke but said they did not leave any cigarettes or ashes on the coffee table

The house was valued at $30,000, with contents valued at $10,000.