BEAUFORT COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – Two people died after a house fire near Chocowinity on Saturday night.
Deputies with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office say they located what they believe to be the bodies of 76-year-old Franklin Meeks and 73-year-old Gail Meeks at 27 Riverview Drive.
“At about 9:20 I heard pop, pop, pop, pop…multiple in a row, at first I thought maybe it was fireworks, some kids playing since the storm is over, people are cleaning up and eventually I heard sirens, so I looked out my door and had a perfect view and that house went up in flames in like 90 seconds,” neighbor, Carol Anne Harrell said.
They say at around 9:22 pm they received a 911 call reporting a fire at the address and discovered the home fully engulfed with flames.
Members of Chocowinity Fire Department, Chocowinity EMS, Bunyan Fire Department, Washington Fire/Rescue/EMS, Beaufort County Emergency Management, and the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene and battled the fire for approximately 3 hours.
The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office led a joint investigation with the Beaufort County Fire Marshall’s Office, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the Office of State Fire Marshall.
The family was notified and told the bodies were being sent to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Greenville for verification and examination.
Although the exact cause of the fire cannot be determined, deputies do not suspect foul play.
“He was just the nicest guy ever and he is going to be so missed,” Harrell said.