Local News

'It was horrible': Man killed in Durham house fire

Posted February 27

— One man died early Monday when flames consumed a home in Durham.

Around 12:45 a.m., crews with the Durham Fire Department responded to a house located in the 1000 block of Calumet Drive. According to officials, a neighbor made the 911 call after noticing a "flickering light" on his outdoor security cameras.

"My wife woke me up. She said the house across the street is on fire," said John Clayton, a neighbor. "When I came outside, I saw the flames out of the top of the house. There were so many flames. They were putting it out, but it was still coming, and it was horrible. It was sad."

When firefighters arrived at the scene, they found an unconscious man in the one-story home.

The man, whose name hasn't been released, died in the fire, officials said.

James Ward said the man who died was 40-year-old Devane "Red" Williams, his best friend.

"I loved him like a brother," Ward said.

Williams' mother recently bought the house for him, Ward said, and he lived there alone with his dog.

"He had just got some new appliances for this house," he said.

Crews controlled the fire in 15 minutes, but the home sustained heavy damage.

Durham Fire Department officials said the fire started in the kitchen. Although they are still trying to determine the cause, they said it was an accident.

No one else was in the home at the time of the fire, and authorities said they found no trace of a dog inside or outside the house.

"You think about [if you could have] done anything, but it was burning so bad," Clayton said. "There wasn't anything anybody could do."

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