Fire claims one life

Published 10:43 am Tuesday, April 12, 2016


GARYSBURG – Northampton County Sheriff Jack Smith said the cause of the fire in which Daffie Hicks, 49, perished is still undetermined and the sheriff’s office is awaiting assistance from the State Bureau of Investigation.

It could not be immediately determined whether a space heater in Hicks’ bedroom contributed to the fire, which was reported before daybreak Saturday.

The victim’s son tried to get his mother out of the bedroom but was overcome by smoke. Once outside he made another rescue attempt by breaking out the bedroom window, Smith said.

Gaston Fire and Rescue Chief Ed Porter Jr. said Saturday that Hicks was out of her bed when she was found. He said it appeared the fire started in the front part of the mobile home located on Berry Scott Trail, which is off Warner Bridge Road near the Virginia line.

Porter said it was not immediately clear whether the point of origin of the fire was in the bedroom where the victim was found or near the bedroom.

In a statement on the matter, Porter said firefighters were dispatched to the scene just before 5 a.m. Saturday morning and found the house, which was a total loss, fully engulfed.

Porter said firefighters from Gaston and Garysburg had the blaze contained within 10 minutes. An adult male escaped with minor injuries and was treated on scene by Northampton County paramedics. He was later released.

A Gaston firefighter sustained a minor ankle injury and was transported to Halifax Regional and later released.

Three bystanders complaining of chest pains were treated and released on scene by paramedics, Porter said.

Seventeen Gaston firefighters and 11 from Garysburg remained on the scene for more than three hours performing salvage and overhaul.

The American Red Cross was contacted and will be providing assistance.

(Lance Martin is Editor and Publisher of This story was reprinted with his permission.)