Firefighters were called out to the home on Lake Wheeler Road just after midnight Friday. The owners, David and Joan Reid, were trapped inside.
"Maybe a little after 12, the firetrucks was here, and this whole place was lit up and burning up over here," says neighbor Ersie Matthews.
By daybreak, firefighters were still searching for David Reid's remains. They recovered Joan Reid soon after arriving at the fire.
"Anytime, there is a death, it's tough. The hardest thing to deal with in our line of work is death," says Capt. Paul Dunwell of the Fairview Fire Department.
Both of the Reids once had prominent positions in the Triangle. Back in the 1970s, David Reid taught computers at N.C. State and Joan Reid ran Rex Hospital's nursing school.
Matthews says in their later years, the Reids were friendly, but mostly kept to themselves.
"Nobody, I don't believe, was any better than they were toward us. We just loved them like anybody else," Matthews says.
Investigators still do not know the cause of the fire at the Reid house, except to say it is accidental. They say they have ruled out foul play.
Copyright 2024 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.