Williamston mom, 5 boys lose everything in Christmas Day fire

WILLIAMSTON, N.C. (WITN) – Firefighters in one Eastern Carolina town had a busy Christmas weekend with three different fires.

The worst fire happened on Christmas in which a mother and her five sons lost their home.

Williamston Fire Chief Michael Peaks says that fire on Martin Street was caused by an unattended candle left in a rear bedroom.

Everyone managed to get out safely except for the family dog, Zeek. First responders later returned to the home where they buried the pet in the backyard.

“That’s the biggest blessing, is that we’re still here,” said Lutoya Keel. “I still got my kids, my mama, my sister and my brother. We all still here. They say material things you can get back but family you can’t get that back. That’s my biggest blessing. My family and my kids.”

The family lost everything in the fire, including the clothes and toys they just received on Christmas.

A GoFundMe site has been set up to help them start over. To donate, you can click here.

Two other fires were caused by people trying to thaw frozen water pipes. The first one on Christmas Eve damaged a home on Bear Trap Road, while another on Christmas destroyed a barn on West Main Street and caused heat damage to the outside of two adjacent homes.

The fire chief said no one was injured in those two fires. He reminds us never to thaw frozen pipes with a blow torch or other open flame. Instead, use hot water or a handheld dryer.