10/22/06 — Early morning fire destroys Dudley home

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Early morning fire destroys Dudley home

By Lee Williams
Published in News on October 22, 2006 2:07 AM

DUDLEY -- Wayne County sheriff's deputies were called early Friday to investigate the county's third suspicious fire in less than a month.

The most recent fire broke out in a vacant home owned by a church in Dudley, fire officials said.

More than 30 firefighters from Indian Springs, Dudley and Arrington volunteer fire departments responded to 1074 Eagles Nest Road to battle the fire about 3:22 a.m. It didn't take long for fire crews to realize they would not save the home.

"It was fully involved when we got there," Indian Springs Fire Chief Leroy Blizzard said.

A passerby spotted the fire and called 9-1-1 to report the blaze, Blizzard added. The home, dotted with trees and bushes, stands away from the road and likely was burning several minutes before the passerby spotted the fire. The fire had breached the roof and burned a hole in the one-story home by the time fire crews arrived, he said.

No one was injured in the blaze, he added.

Firefighters knocked the fire out in 20 minutes, but crews remained on scene for two hours to ensure all hotspots were extinguished.

The fire caused about $40,000 in damage to the home owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City. The home was considered a total loss. Blizzard said the fire was suspicious.

"There was no power to the house and there's an LPG gas tank, but it was not on, that's why it was of a suspicious nature," Blizzard said.

Blizzard said the previous tenants moved out a little more than four months ago after school ended last summer.

Wayne County sheriff's detectives were called to investigate.

"It's still under investigation pending lab results of samples taken from the scene," Blizzard said.

Wayne County sheriff's officials were called to investigate two other suspicious fires. One fire broke out at David Wells home at 4371 N. U.S. 13 on Oct. 12. Someone broke into Wells' home and set a fire in his bedroom dresser. The home was destroyed in the blaze.

The second fire broke out at Fat Daddy's Fastway on U.S. 13 North on Oct. 9. Charges were filed in the Fat Daddy's Fastway fire. The other two cases remain open.

Anyone with information on these suspicious fires is asked to call Goldsboro-Wayne Crime Stoppers at 735-2255. Callers may remain anonymous, and they might be eligible for cash rewards of up to $1,000, if their information leads to a felony arrest.