10/13/06 — Officials suspect foul play in blaze

View Archive

Officials suspect foul play in blaze

By Lee Williams
Published in News on October 13, 2006 1:50 PM

Arson is suspected in a fire that destroyed a Goldsboro man's home on U.S. 13 Thursday morning, according to reports from Wayne County sheriff's detectives.

More than 20 firefighters from East Wayne, Saulston and Pinewood volunteer fire departments responded to the home of David Wells at 4371 N. U.S. 13 after receiving a call for help about 8:30 a.m. They found the home in flames.

"Heavy smoke was coming out of the house when we arrived on the scene," East Wayne Volunteer Fire Chief Lenwood Sauls said.

No one was at home when firefighters arrived, Sauls said.

Firefighters entered the home through an unlocked back door and conducted an interior attack to douse the flames. It took firefighters about 15 minutes to extinguish the blaze, he said.

Sauls said the fire was contained. The wood frame home with vinyl siding was left standing, but the house was considered a total loss.

"We left the structure, but the insides are gone," Sauls said.

Sauls said Wells built the one-room home that was equivalent to the size of a bedroom in an average size home with his own hands. Everything he had in the home, including his clothes, bed, television and other appliances was destroyed in the fire.

Sauls said Wells was devastated when he learned the news.

"He was not at home," Sauls said. "When they finally got him, he was torn to pieces."

The fire caused about $10,000 in damage to the home and about $2,000 in damage to the home's contents, Sauls said. The local American Red Cross was called to assist Wells with temporary housing.

Firefighters responded to the home again about noon after the insulation in the top of the home rekindled. No one was injured in the fire.

Sauls said he was unsure what sparked the fire, but according to sheriff's office reports, someone broke into Well's home and started the fire in his bedroom dresser.

An eyewitness spotted a late model blue Chevrolet truck parked in the driveway at Wells' home around 8:30 a.m.

No suspects have been apprehended at this time.

"We really don't know," Sauls said. "It was a suspicious fire ... We turned it over to the sheriff's department to investigate."

This is the second suspicious fire East Wayne fire officials were called to this week. This is also the third fire local officials responded to this week.