Family blames lightning strike for Warren County house fire that killed 3

Local News

Investigators are trying to figure out what caused a deadly Warren County house fire that left three family members dead.

The fire broke out early Sunday morning on Watson Road in Soul City near Norlina.

Mary Downey found out her family members were killed in the fire early Sunday morning when the sheriff came to her home and notified her of the deaths.

“My first thought was, ‘Please, Lord, don’t let them have suffered,’” said Downey.

The bodies have been identified as Downey’s mother Gloria Williams, Gloria’s brother-in-law Walter Williams and Gloria’s son Lawrence Williams.

Gloria’s other son, James Williams Jr., says he has countless memories in the home his mom and lived in for 20 years.

“It would take something like a fire to take her out because she is so strong,” said Williams. “And she has instilled that in me, brother and my sister. She has all the fight in the world that anybody can ask for.”

An arson team from the State Bureau of Investigation is looking into what caused the fire, but the family says they do not believe someone intentionally set it.

They believe it was caused by the thunderstorm that passed through the area early Sunday morning.

As the family waits for answers, they turn to the family they have left for support.

“We’re going to stay strong, stay close and make our way through,” said Williams Jr.

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