CAMDEN, N.C. (WAVY) – Officials in Camden County say a 46-year-old man died in his mobile home early Friday as Hurricane Arthur’s winds helped fan the deadly fire.
“He was a good guy. I mean, he was a real good guy,” said neighbor Shawn Brite. “He’d do anything for you he could. That’s why I say it’s sad.”
Brite said he was awakened to the fire, feeling shocked then helpless as he watched from his home across the street. He feared it was his friend of 30 years who perished amid the smoke and flames.
“When I got up, all I seen was lights and fire trucks everywhere,” he said. “The wind was blowing so hard they couldn’t do nothing with it. All they were doing was trying to contain it, I think.”
Crews from the South Camden and Elizabeth City fire departments were called to the fire at a double wide mobile home around 4 a.m. on NC Highway South 343. The structure was a total loss, according to Camden County Manager Michael Renshaw.
Another neighbor, Roy Rollman, was also awakened, but it was by the rain and high winds that Arthur brought in.
“The rain was coming down so hard and the wind was blowing so hard, the only thing you could see was the fire billowing out of the rear of the house, and the smoke stream carried all the way back here where the corn is.”
Renshaw said firefighters made a grim find.
“They extinguished the fire and they found the occupant deceased in the bedroom area of the home,” Renshaw said. “And I was told by one of the fire chiefs on scene the amount of winds, the high speed of the winds, was a challenge for them.”
Authorities have not released the man’s name, but say he lived alone and his body will be taken to the medical examiner’s office in Greenville for an autopsy.
Renshaw said it appears no one else was in the trailer when the fire sparked, but crews remained on the scene investigating.
At this time, investigators have not said how the fire started.
Stay with WAVY.com for any new information.