House fire displaces family

Published 10:30 am Thursday, February 6, 2014

RICH SQUARE – A mother and her five school-age children have been displaced after a fire caused significant damage to their rental home near here Jan. 28.

Meanwhile, local citizens and Northampton Public School officials are doing what they can to help the family in their time of need.

“I was informed late last week that several of our students were involved in a house fire. Thankfully they all made it out of the house okay, but it’s to my understanding that the family loss the majority of their personal items during this fire,” said Oliver Holley, principal at Conway Middle School.

Holley said those impacted are members of the Lee family. Three of those children attend Conway Middle School while the two oldest siblings, both girls, are enrolled at Northampton County High School.

He added that he made contact with the mother – Stephanie Lee-Harris.

“They are holding up as best as they can,” Holley stated. “The Red Cross provided them with room at the Ahoskie Inn for the first few nights after the fire. Now the family is trying to make other arrangements for a place to live.

“They all lost a lot of clothing, but the blessing was that everyone made it out of the house okay. You replace the clothing; you can’t replace a life,” Holley added.

According to NorthamptonCounty Emergency Management Director Ronald Storey Jr., the fire occurred in the early afternoon of Jan. 28 at 137 Eagletown Road, located off NC 305 east of Rich Square.

“From what we can determine, the fire started in a floor furnace and spread from that area,” Storey said. “The firemen had to tear up the floor in order to get to the fire’s hot spot.”

Storey said the home did not completely burn down, but did suffer extensive damage.

“Because the furnace was is the middle of the home, you can imagine the damage it did,” Storey stated. “It also got up in the walls of the home as well as burning the electrical and plumbing lines.”

The Rich Square Fire Department responded to the blaze. They were assisted by the Woodland Fire Department.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

email author More by Cal