GREENE COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – A morning house fire destroyed a home in Maury, leaving a man homeless.
Greene County Emergency Services says they got a call at 4:30 a.m. Tuesday of a fully involved house fire on Whitley Street. We’re told the house is a total loss, and the homeowner was able to get out in time.
Maury Fire Chief Neil Jarman says when firefighters arrived, Zeno Dupree, in his 70s, was already standing outside.
“You could see the glow and the flames,” Jarman said. “You could see the flames approximately one mile away. You could see the glow several miles away. The home was completely consumed by flames.”
Jarman says Dupree has no injuries and is now with family from Maury.
Levonia Darden is Dupree’s sister and says she woke up to a terrifying sound.
At 4:30 a.m., a neighbor began banging on her window, alerting her of a fire at her brother’s house right around the corner.
“He was hollering ‘I know he in there. I know he in there. I know Bud in there,’ Darden said. “That’s a bad pill to swallow thinking that someone got burned up in a house. I don’t even care who it is. And then your own brother…”
Fortunately, Dupree was never inside at the time of the blaze. Instead, he helplessly watched from his car.
“I just pulled to the side and watched it go in smoke because I knew it was gone,” Dupree said.
Now the home that Dupree owned since 1995 is a pile of ash and dust.
“I have never dreamed about losing a house,” Dupree said. “It’s something that you do every day. The house is there and you do your thing.”
The cause of this house fire is undetermined.