Wilmington fire ruled arson, SBI on scene

Source: Jeanie Drake
Source: Jeanie Drake

Reported by Colin Hackman - bio|email
Posted by Scott Saxton - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - New Hanover County firefighters say they are investigating a fire on Tall Tree Lane Monday morning as an arson.

One man was sent to the hospital due to smoke inhalation.  He has been identified, according to firefighters, as Ed Flagler.  His wife, Diane, was treated at the scene and released.

The fire started around 9:00 Monday morning at the home on Tall Tree Lane in Wilmington and destroyed the property.

Four agencies responded to help, including the State Bureau of Investigation.  Officials says there may be a suspect in mind.

"Until things calm down with the fire, until investigators can go in and look at stuff, then we can determine more at that point," Sgt. Craig Bredenbeck with the New Hanover County Sheriff's Department said.  

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A part of College Road near Tall Tree Lane was closed in both directions due to a hose being laid across the street to extinguish the fire.

Lt. Sam Gooding of the Myrtle Grove VFD lives next door to where the fire started and was at home when his neighbor ran to him for help.

"I've been doing this for more than twenty years, but have never had it happen next door,"  Gooding said.

Gooding happened to have his fire gear in his trunk and was able to get a start on extinguishing the fire, while trucks responded.

Neighbors say two grandparents were watching their two grandchildren in the home at the time the fire started.  The children did not appear to be injured.

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