Middleburg home total loss from fire

Dec. 11, 2013 @ 06:17 PM

MIDDLEBURG — Neighbors responded and were eventually relieved to find out a wheelchair-bound resident was not inside at the time of a house fire.

But the white single-level home at 110 North Lee was a total loss Wednesday, the damages estimated at $80,000 according to Vance County Fire Chief Harold Henrich.

Henrich said the fire, called in at 12:55 p.m., likely started in the bedroom area of the house.

“It was about 1:30 when the fire was put under control,” Henrich said. “The home is a total loss. Everything was lost. It looked like it started with a space heater next to her bed.”

Bettie Paquin, who lived there, was away at a doctor’s appointment when the fire broke out.

Paquin’s sister, Frances May, came to view the scene and confirmed Paquin was safe, but the loss of her medical equipment and all her belongings would hit her hard.

“The doctors broke the news to her,” May said. “She has so much going on with her already. Now this.”

Neighbors Frank Edwards and Chad Jones were among the first there.

“We were going to try to get her out of the house if she was in there,” Jones said.

“I called out for the dog, but I couldn’t get to it and couldn’t get it to come over,” Edwards said.

May said that she and other relatives live nearby, and Paquin would be able to stay with them. Getting along without her dog, “Little Bit,” was going to be an added difficulty.

“She would ride around with her to the post office, my place, riding in her scooter on her lap. They would go everywhere together,” May said. “She is going to have to stay somewhere that people can help her.”

Vance County, Bearpond, Drewry and Cokesbury crews responded to the blaze.


Contact the writer at mfisher@hendersondispatch.com.