Local News

Harnett County Woman and Grandson Perish in Fire

Posted June 13, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Frances Brewington, 82, and her great-grandson Brian Patrick Brewington, 8, died in a fire early Thursday morning in the family farmhouse off Arrowhead Road, just south of Dunn.

The fire, which began right after dawn, swept through the bedroom where the two had been sleeping. J.R. Edwards, a sheriff's deputy, spotted the flames while driving to work around 6:15 a.m. It took about 14 minutes for the Dunn Fire Department to arrive, but the fire was contained to the front left bedroom of the house and the attic area above.

The fire has been ruled an arson. Firefighters found evidence of the use of gasoline or some other accelerant used to start the fire. Three people have been arrested in connection with the fire.

Robbie Brewington, 33, grandson and uncle of the victims; his girlfriend, Vera Sue Lee, 19, and a friend of the two have been charged with first degree murder, arson, conspiracy to commit murder and first degree burglary.

Police say all three have confessed to starting the fire and that Brewington's motive was his desire to collect his grandmother's insurance money. The sheriff believes the grandmother may have been stabbed to death, and that both victims may have died before the fire was started.