Local News

Family Grieves After Harnett County Woman Dies In House Fire

Posted December 24, 2002

— Fire investigators in Harnett County are trying to determine the cause of a deadly fire.

Authorities believe the fire started around 4:30 p.m. Monday at a home on Joel Johnson Road. Authorities say Judy West died at the scene.

Timmy Johnson, West's son, said the holiday will never be the same.

"She was terrific. [There was] no one else like her. She's my only mama -- the only one I'll ever have," he said.

West had not been alone for long in her house. Her husband had just left to deliver Christmas presents. They would have celebrated their 28th anniversary Sunday.

Ironically, West's brother, Jerry Hamilton, owns a fire restoration company. Hamilton said he deals with fire tragedies every day in his business, but he said having it happen in his own family is almost too much to bear.

"She was the most warm-hearted person there ever had been. She did so much for me when I was young with her being an older sister. My mom died at a young age. I'll never get over it," he said.

Authorities say it is the first deadly fire in Lillington since 1991. Authorities say that fire took place on Christmas Eve.


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