WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — A man is dead after a fire destroyed a Winston-Salem home Monday morning.
The fire started around 4:30 a.m. on Sunnyside Avenue.
Investigators told WGHP the fire is still under investigation, and because of the extent of the damage to the home, it could take a while before they find out the cause and origin of the fire.
In the meantime, neighbors are trying to come to terms with the tragedy.
“I just heard a loud boom and then I heard a woman coming over here, screaming help and their house is on fire,” 13-year-old Thomas Gossett said.
Gossett lives down the street from where flames engulfed a home.
His whole family rushed out of the house.
“We just saw fire trucks and fire trucks,” Judy Hollerman said.
Hollerman and her husband were woken up by the sirens and also went outside to watch the firefighters try to put out the flames.
“It was terrible. It was sad to see the house burning,” she said.
First, for the neighbors, came the fear.
“I was really scared. I thought it was going to spread to all of the other houses,” Gossett said.
Then came the realization, one of their neighbors hadn’t survived.
“It was really sad and traumatic,” Gossett said. “It was my first time seeing a house fire and I used to be close with him.”
“We just knew him. We knew his parents,” Hollerman said. “It’s just sad. It made me — my heart hurts for his brother.”
Investigators are not releasing the identity of the victim just yet, but people in the neighborhood told WGHP he is going to be missed.
“He used to make bikes and stuff. For one of my birthday gifts, he made me a bike,” Gossett said.
“He was a friendly neighbor,” Hollerman said. “[I’ll miss] seeing him walking down the street. He would walk around to talk to everybody.”
The Winston-Salem Fire Department told WGHP there was someone else living in the home and the Red Cross is assisting that person.