Local News

Short Circuit Caused Robeson Fatal Fire

Posted July 7, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Robeson County investigators say a short circuit was responsible for a fatal fire here Sunday. Neighbors in the small community of Philadelphus are mourning a father and his two sons who were killed in the blaze.

Officials say Billy Oxendine and his sons William and Levern died of smoke inhalation after their house burst into flames. Investigators believe a lightning strike sparked a power surge at the tiny house.

As in many rural areas,the closest neighbor lives about a half a mile away, but this a place where everyone knows each other and a tragedy like this brings them together. The boys' toys are still scattered in the yard, a haunting reminder of the children who lived and played there just days ago.

Deputies say the home did not have a smoke detector.