Local News

Two burned in Sampson County; investigators probing link to house fire

Posted November 23, 2015 8:07 a.m. EST
Updated November 24, 2015 10:41 a.m. EST

— Two people were severely burned early Monday morning in what investigators are calling a suspicious house fire in Sampson County.

Jimmy Butler and Kimberly Lou Huff were found shortly after 5 a.m. at 2312 Southriver Road in Autryville after they called 911, but there was no fire at that location.

"They claimed that the injuries were sustained from a campfire in a wooded area, and of course that was unfounded," Sheriff Jimmy Thornton said.

Both Butler and Huff were taken by medical helicopter to the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill. Butler was in critical condition Tuesday morning, and Huff was in serious condition.

Fire crews responding to 1920 Leroy Autry Road in Autryville at about 5:20 a.m. found a suspicious fire. According to investigators from the Sampson County Sheriff's Office, evidence of a meth lab was found on the property, however the cause of the fire was under investigation.

"There were some burn piles that had some ingredients used in the production of meth," Thornton said.

According to Thornton, meth labs are a problem in the area.

"There are a lot of areas off the beaten path that make it convenient and easy to conceal those types of operations," he said.

Investigators said the man and woman have ties to the Leroy Autry Road address.