Elderly couple killed in Granville County house fire
Posted April 22
Creedmoor, N.C. — A husband and wife who had been married more than 60 years died early Tuesday after fire ripped through their home on Hester Road in Granville County, officials said.
Fire crews responded to the home, which is north of Creedmoor near Stem, at about 2 a.m. after receiving a call from a passer-by.
Madelene Long, 77, was unable to escape the fire and died in the home. Her husband, 88-year-old Sam Long, was taken to Granville Medical Center, where he later died.
Sam Long was pulled from the home by a man who stopped after seeing the flames and calling 911, officials said.
Investigators said the couple were the only people inside the home when the blaze started. The couple's son, Royal Long, said his mother had been battling lung cancer.
“I’m sad in a way because I miss them, but I kind of feel like they are together wherever they’re at,” he said. “I want to believe they went to heaven. And I believe they are going to be hand in hand, as they were here on Earth.”
Foul play is not expected, but officials said they were unsure what caused the blaze. The majority of the damage was in the front of the home.
"The fire had a good head start. When we arrived on scene it has been burning for a while," said Chase Parrott, assistant chief of the Stem Fire Department. "We are going to be looking toward a front room in this house. That's where the most fire activity was when we arrived, and that fire was in pretty advanced stages when we arrived."
Trecie Santiago was with her son and nephew on Hester Road when they saw the blaze and stopped to help.
She said they broke a window, and black smoke poured out.
"I went around the back of the house," Santiago said. "I could hear some muffled sounds. I called them around there, and that's when the elderly man was laying there on the floor and we pulled him out."
The couple moved into the home six or seven years ago after a fire destroyed their previous home.
"I'm really at a loss for words right now. Any time you lose somebody in your community, whether you know them or not, it's a sense that everybody loses," Parrott said.