Local News

Wake Tech student killed in house fire south of Garner

Posted January 6, 2016 5:34 a.m. EST
Updated January 6, 2016 5:23 p.m. EST

— Officials said a 19-year-old man died in a fire Wednesday morning that destroyed a home south of the Town of Garner.

The fire at the house at 1409 Porchlight Ct. started around 4 a.m., according to the fire department. Once it was determined safe, firefighters entered the house and found Daniel Benzo Torres, a student at Wake Technical Community College, in a bedroom.

William Faircloth, a neighbor who was getting ready for work, said he saw the glow through the window.

Gene Scarboro, who also lives nearby, said at least three men, all in their early 20s moved into the home about a month ago.

"(The victim) was very respectable ... all of them were," Scarboro said. "They kept to themselves. They were friendly. They came up here to visit with my son from time to time."

Scarboro said he spoke with one of the residents after the fire who told him that they had gone to eat at Denny's while their other roommate stayed home to sleep. When they left the house, he said, they noticed burning smell.

"He said they looked for it, and they finally dismissed it," Scarboro said. "He unplugged everything that was plugged in all of the sockets."

Scarboro said the house used central heating and they did not use a space heater.

"By the time the fire department got here, the house was engulfed," he said.

Garner Fire and Rescue Chief Matthew Poole said the time of day contributed to the size and magnitude of the fire.

"There is not a lot of traffic through the subdivision this time of night. It is very difficult for someone to spot it and call it in," he said.

According to Poole, a neighbor spotted the blaze and called it in.