Fire leaves family with nothing

ajames@newsobserver.comOctober 21, 2013 

— A house where three generations lived burned down, leaving the family with nothing.

“That was the place to go when you needed to regroup,” said Brenda Frazier, who was born in the house, which her parents, Doris, 80, and Cecil, 83, bought in 1970.

The fire broke out around 6 a.m. Oct. 5 at 311 S. Raiford St. Frazier was there with her three children and two grandchildren. Her mother and father were home too, but no one was injured.

A neighbor knocked on a window of the house, alerting the family about the fire. He also called 911.

“We don’t even know who he was, but he saved us,” Frazier said.

The neighbor went in the house and helped carry out her father, who is paralyzed.

Fire Marshal Phillip McDaniel said the cause of the blaze was unknown, but it could have been arson. He can’t say for sure before the fire destroyed the point of origin.

“We’ve been living there all our lives,” Frazier said.

The house had a reputation as a gathering place. “My momma would cook big meals there,” Frazier said. “Even though she’d say she was only cooking for her and her husband, she’d make enough for everyone.”

“My dad actually cried, and I’ve never seen him cry before,” she said.

Frazier, who is studying at Johnston Community College, lost all of her school books. “We lost everything,” she said.

They’ve been living in a hotel since the fire.

When Frazier thought the family had found a place to stay in Micro, she enrolled her son at North Johnston High School. But that house fell through, and her son is likely to return to Smithfield-Selma High.

To donate to the family, call Frazier at 919-333-2937.

James: 919-553-7234

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