Local News

Elderly couple killed in Hoke house fire

Posted December 23, 2010 10:13 a.m. EST
Updated December 23, 2010 6:30 p.m. EST

— A wood heater appears to be the cause of a blaze that killed an elderly couple inside their Red Springs home early Thursday morning, Hoke County authorities said.

Henry Goins Jr., 78, and Elizabeth Goins, 74, died inside their home, at 106 S. Hoke St., shortly before 3 a.m., said Freddy Johnson, director of Hoke County Emergency Management.

Their grandson, Nakoma Goins, 22, who stayed with them, managed to escape by breaking out a window in his bedroom, Johnson said.

Nakoma Goins said he awoke to his grandfather asking about a smell in the house.

"I got up, tried to get out my door and open my door to the hallway,” he said. “Smoke-filled my room. I just went out through the window, and I came running and trying to get to the front window, and I couldn't (save them.)”

Relatives said the couple had lived in the home since the 1960s and had raised 11 children – six of their own and five other nieces and nephews.

“They were loving grandparents,” the couple’s granddaughter, Leigh Brooks said. “They would take anyone in. They took me in.”

They were also ones who always reached out to their neighbors.

“It’s devastating,” the couple’s son-in-law, Willie Jacobs said. “It’s devastating to the family and to the neighbors.”