Local News

Fire Destroys Rocky Mount Home

Posted July 4, 1998

— Lightning struck a Nash County home late Saturday night, setting off a fire that destroyed the structure.

It happened just west of Rocky Mount in the Shiloh community of Red Oak. Bobby Dixon and his wife were in bed, and he was watching TV around 11PM Saturday night. A loud boom sounded.

Dixon woke up his wife and got her to safety.

Lightning had hit the Dixon's garage, and by the time firefighters arrived the house was a loss.

"It was fire from one end to the other end, and from front to back it was totally consumed by fire," Dixon said.

Five departments from Nash County responded to the fire. Dozens of firefighters battled 8-foot flames, but the fire spread through the attic in seconds.

Although they lost nearly everything they own, the Dixons still have reasons to be thankful: a daughter and grandson who live with them weren't home at the time.

Daylight showed the roof had collapsed, nearly everything inside was destroyed. Family members were able to salvage some clothes.

The Dixon's horses, dogs and fish survived. And there was another small stroke of luck -- 9-year-old grandson Randall Weaver found his rabbit alive inside the house.

Today, Randall's father is grateful his son was at a fireworks display when the house was struck.

"Long as they're all right, the house ain't nothing. You can't replace a soul," Gary Weaver said.

Red Oak's fire chief says another house in the same area was struck by lightning last week. The homeowner was able to put out a fire in the attic before it spread.

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