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Three die in Halifax house fire

Posted November 27, 2011
Updated November 28, 2011

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— A Halifax County family birthday celebration turned to funeral planning Sunday when a house fire claimed the lives of three men. 

Paul Lynch, 28, James Lynch, 62, and Steven Richardson, 43, died at their home at 1136 Arcola Road in Hollister.

A fourth man, Joe Richardson, lives there as well but had left the house around 11 p.m.

Richardson said his father and uncle were asleep when he left the house. Ninety minutes later, he got a call to return.

"When I came down the hill, I saw a big, orange light," he said. "When I got to the intersection, I saw all these fire trucks and cars and knew something was not right."

The home was a total loss. 

Only charred wood remains of the house where three men died Nov. 26, 2011. Fire leaves man homeless, kills three

Investigators said the fire likely started near the kitchen in the back of the house. The Halifax County Sheriff's Office asked the State Bureau of Investigation for assistance, but authorities don't believe the fire was suspicious.

Relatives said it's possible that Paul Lynch was cooking something and fell asleep with the stove still on.

"At times, he would go in there and put something on the stove, and he would come back into the front room with the heater and lay down a few minutes, go back in and flip stuff over," Joe Richardson said.

Just before he left the house they shared, Joe Richardson talked to Paul Lynch about how they'd celebrate Lynch's son's birthday.

"His little boy's birthday is today. He told me that we are going to go Dollar General in the morning, and we are going to get him something for his birthday," Joe Richardson said.

Margo Richardson, sister of one of the victims, said the men didn't have much, but they did have each other and family.

"Everybody just got along so good. Everybody loved each other," Joe Richardson said.

"I just can't believe it happened. I don't want to believe it happened, even though it's true," Margo Richardson said.

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  • kelellis67 Nov 28, 2011

    so very sad...I am praying for the family!

  • SouthernGirlJD Nov 28, 2011

    so sad! Praying for they're family and friends

  • sweetlyna07 Nov 28, 2011

    R.I.P to all three men. This is so sad and so unexpected! Praying for family and friends