12/12/13 — Another house destroyed by fire

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Another house destroyed by fire

By John Joyce
Published in News on December 12, 2013 1:46 PM

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Firefighters examine damage at the back of the vacant house at 703 Corney St. Wednesday night. A call came in shortly after 5 p.m. reporting that the structure was on fire.

The Goldsboro Fire Department arrived at 703 Corney St. Wednesday, just before 5:30 p.m., to find smoke pouring from the vacant residence located across the street from the W.A. Foster Center.

After about 10 minutes, the fire was under control.

"It was lapping pretty good when we came up," Capt. Vaden Lee said. He was appointed the safety officer at the scene by scene commander Assistant Fire Chief Frank Sasser.

Lee indicated where the fire originated from -- an area in the rear of the house inside a bathroom.

The Goldsboro Police Department secured the home after the fire was out and Sasser told his men they could pack it in.

An officer staged his vehicle nearby throughout the night to maintain the integrity of what could potentially prove a crime scene.

A team of GFD and GPD fire inspectors returned this morning to conduct a thorough investigation of the fire, ruled suspicious by Sasser.

"We determined where it started. It will be up to the investigators to determine how it started," he said.

There was no electricity running into the home. The meter box had been removed.

"That means there is no way it could have just started," he said.

The residence, valued at $21,000, sustained $10,000 in damage.

Sasser was able to track down the listed owner of the residence, New Hope Promise L.L.C., a business located at 103 Ormond Ave. in Goldsboro.

Sasser said he spoke with a manager with New Hope Promise, Edsel Raynor, who was aware of the fire and had been at the scene.

This marks the fourth time in three weeks the Goldsboro Fire Department has extinguished a fire burning at a vacant house.

On Nov. 23, a vacant residence at 113 W. Pine St. was on fire at 5:54 a.m. when fire crews arrived on scene.

The next day, two similar fires broke out, one just after 5 a.m. and another at 6:30 a.m., at 405 S. John St. and 111 N. Kornegay St. respectively.

All three of the previous fires occurred within less than a mile from Wednesday's blaze on Corney Street.

The only difference is this time the fire started in the evening.

Goldsboro Fire Chief Gary Whaley said it was too soon to mention arson. He explained there are specific criteria that have to be met, based on state statutes, to upgrade a fire categorized as suspicious to arson.

He did confirm, however, that the State Bureau of Investigation was called in to assist with the investigation of at least two of the houses burned.

The findings of those investigations have not yet been released.