Local News

Multiple Fires Destroy 2 Homes, Kill Woman

Posted February 9, 2008 8:31 a.m. EST
Updated February 9, 2008 9:02 p.m. EST

— Multiple fires in Durham and Raleigh destroyed two houses and left a woman dead, as authorities warned dry weather could create ideal conditions for fires this weekend.

A fire started at 704 Princeton St. in north Raleigh around 3:30 a.m. Saturday. Firefighters said flames were shooting through the roof when they arrived.

The fire trapped a woman inside the home. Firefighters said they tried to rescue her, but were unsuccessful. The woman was found in a bedroom and pronounced dead at the scene. Her name was not released.

Thomas Bugbee was badly burned and transported to UNC Hospitals. He was listed in critical condition Saturday night.

Neighbor David Hossell said Thomas and Sharone Bugbee lived inside the charred house. Hossell said it appeared Thomas stayed inside the burning structure until it was unbearable – trying to save Sharone.

"He was obviously in pretty deep shock. It was quite evident, paramedics were helping him,” Hossell said.

Neighbors told WRAL that the victim was ill and that her husband did odd jobs around the neighborhood to pay her medical bills.

"All of our neighbors are very, very close; we all knew both of them. Thomas always wanted to do yard work for us. They were very well liked,” neighbor Kim Modenbach said.

"It was very, very hard for him. He was having trouble getting regular work because he was having to come home and take care of her on a regular basis. He’d been through a tough time. It's got to be awful for him,” Hossell said.

The cause of the fire was not immediately released.

Firefighters also responded to a fire at 1150 Fiske St. in Durham at about 7:30 a.m. An adult and a 10-year-old boy were rescued from the fire. The home sustained moderate damage, investigators said.

Also in Durham, a generator sparked a fire at a home at Mallard Avenue and North Elizabeth Street, near East End Park, around 8:30 p.m. Friday. The fire destroyed the home, but no one was injured.

Firefighters said the house did not have electricity, and the residents used the generator for power.

Firefighters also fought a blaze at a shed at 6884 Blake Rd. in Cumberland County around 12:40 p.m. Saturday. No injuries were reported in that fire.

The state Division of Forest Resources said Friday that dry and windy weather this weekend could create increased potential for fires.