Local News

Teen saves father from burning Johnston County home

Posted December 17, 2012

— A Johnston County family of seven lost their home early Monday in an accidental fire, authorities said. A young teen is being called a hero for rushing back into the burning building to get his father out safely.

Fire ripped through the Dixon family's home, at 13175 Buffalo Road in Archer Lodge, shortly after 5 a.m. The blaze started in a bedroom.

No one was injured.

Wesley Dixon, 13, said that, when the smoke alarm went off, he woke up surrounded by flames.

"Just looking fire in the face, when I woke up all I saw was fire in my face," he said.

When he got outside and didn't see his father, he braved the blaze again.

"I want to be in the Navy SEALS and they go through stuff to save other people's lives," he said.

Teen saves father from burning Johnston County home Teen saves father from burning Johnston County home

Harold and Sharon Dixon, along with Wesley and four other children, are being assisted by the American Red Cross, who secured the family a motel room. Two local churches are also providing clothes.

Eight days before Christmas, "we lost everything we had," said Harold Dixon, a custodian at Riverwoods Middle School.

But the father said he still feels blessed.

"I think about the people in Connecticut that don't have their children, but I can sit here and count all of mine," he said. "To me, that's a blessing."


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  • pproffit Dec 19, 2012

    Target is horrible if you return a gift someone else purchased you. I had a foster child who was 'adopted' by a high school class. They purchased various gifts, many duplicates like gloves and other clothing items. Even after I explained the circumstance, Target wouldn't even allow me to exchange the items without a receipt.

  • sunneyone2 Dec 18, 2012

    I'm so glad they made it out unharmed, but what a terrible thing to have happen.

    Looks like that kid is well on his way to the SEALS though. He obviously has the heart for it.

  • 75Tarheel Dec 18, 2012

    Prayers for the family and congratulations to this young man and his heroic efforts. Sounds as though he may make a great SEAL!

  • CestLaVie Dec 18, 2012


    Google Riverwood Middle School to find their phone number so you can call for suggestions. I posted their phone number for you but I guess that was a no-no as my post did not appear.

  • CestLaVie Dec 18, 2012

    I'm thinking about purchasing a Wal-Mart gift card & dropping it off at the school on my way home from work today.

  • dmattingly0232 Dec 18, 2012

    Riverdell is having a hat day on wednesday to help the family. Please, if your children do go Riverdell send in a donation and show your support. My son is in class with the 9 year old girl and was very sad this happened to her. Let's help make this a great Christmas for them, and show them there is still love in the world.

  • LovemyPirates Dec 18, 2012

    I hope Wesley gets to serving as a Navy Seal. He's a hero.

  • irishgirlsarepretty Dec 18, 2012

    Sounds like a very sweet family and WOW what a great attitude considering what they've been through! Wesley you do indeed sound like SEAL material. GO FOR IT!

  • elaatkins Dec 18, 2012

    Does anyone have any information on how people from out of town can help? I live and work near/in Chapel Hill and cannot make it to Clayton during business hours.

  • carlostheass Dec 18, 2012

    So sad to have lost so much, but what a wonderful attitude. Wesley and Mr. Dixon, you are great people and I wish you the very best!