Local News

Fire at Sampson County home nearly ruins teen's prom hopes

Posted April 13, 2017 5:15 p.m. EDT
Updated April 13, 2017 5:41 p.m. EDT

— A brush fire that destroyed a barn and home in Sampson County almost wiped out a young man’s dream of going to his high school prom.

Tarviors Harris said a trash fire burning outside the family’s New Hope Church Road home got out of control and caused the barn to catch fire.

“It erupted so fast, the heat from the barn actually started melting the house,” Harris said.

Harris, his wife and one of their dogs were chased out of the house by the flames. The family lost everything.

“All the kids’ school clothes, all my wife’s clothes, my clothes, like everything we own,” Harris said.

Also lost in the fire were the shirt, tie, shoes and accessories Harris’ son, Montrel Williams, planned to wear to prom Friday.

Montrel was ready to give up his hopes of attending the dance, not wanting to add worry and inconvenience for his family.

“With my prom suit and everything, my mom ordered one, so it didn’t come in until like yesterday. But with gas and availability and me getting nice and everything, I wanted to cancel it myself and say I’m not going,” Williams said.

The gas Williams’ mentioned is for the family car. Since the fire, Harris said, it has been a struggle to shuttle the children from the motel where the family is staying to school and other places.

“We’ll figure it out, you know. But he’s going because I don’t want to stop their lives because of what happened,” Elizabeth Harris said.

Even though the fire destroyed their home, the family said they’re thankful that the two people inside and the family’s pets were able to make it out alive.