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Suspicious fire rips through Dunn home, displaces five

Posted November 19, 2012

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— A fire that authorities are calling "suspicious" ripped through a Dunn duplex Monday evening, forcing a family of five out of their home.

It's the third fire call at the home, in the 300 block of North Layton Avenue, in the past week, investigators said.

"In the last week, we've had three separate occurrences," said Assistant Fire Chief Scott Phillips. "This is the third occurrence at this location."

Resident Stephon McPhatter said he has no idea who would want to set fire to his home.

"Friday night, they tried to start the fire and we got it out. Saturday night, it started behind the house and they got it out," he said. "I guess they succeeded today."

McPhatter said he was sleeping around 5 p.m. Monday when flames roared through the house.

"I had dozed off for a few minutes – then all of a sudden, I heard a boom," McPhatter said. 

Suspicious fire rips through Dunn home, displaces five Suspicious fire rips through Dunn home, displaces five

Investigators said the blaze likely started in the back of the home.

"It did move up the back wall," McPhatter said. "I looked back again and it was nothing but flames around the house, and when I pulled the door open, the flames met me."

When McPhatter got out of the house safely, he was hysterical, thinking his teenage son was trapped inside, as several fire crews from surrounding areas arrived on the scene. 

His son had gone to a friend's house, however, and was not home when the fire broke out.

"I didn't know where he was at, and it scared me so bad," McPhatter said.

He and his family planned to stay with family members Monday night.

Phillips said the cause of the fire is under investigation.

6 Comments

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  • dirkdiggler Nov 20, 4:30 p.m.

    "So let me get this right,after watching the news the guy said somone tried to start a fire twice and he goes to sleep,hmmmm
    ~southerntalent"

    You didn't get it straight at all. Two times within the last week, someone set this guy's home on fire. They were able to put it out. The third time the arsonist tried, they succeeded. What's he supposed to do? Stay awake for the rest of his life because someone tried to set his home on fire?

  • southerntalent Nov 20, 2:45 p.m.

    So let me get this right,after watching the news the guy said somone tried to start a fire twice and he goes to sleep,hmmmm

  • Scubagirl Nov 20, 2:02 p.m.

    third time's a charm.....Hope they put who ever did this away for quite some time.

  • Karmageddon Nov 20, 11:44 a.m.

    Betcha that it was the son

  • Innsbruck Nov 20, 9:22 a.m.

    Three times in one week and the last around 5pm? Hhhmmmm, the police and fire department should rule out everyone over the age of 15 and under the age of 9.

  • VW girl 2013 Nov 20, 9:02 a.m.

    If this fire was arson, I so hope they find the person(s) responsible and put them away for LIFE! There is no reason so take someone's home or life...this country is so sad. The people of this nation need to stand together, not tear each other down. We're quickly turning ourselves into a third world nation that no-one will want to be a part of, let alone help if we ever need it!