Pender home believed to be intentionally set on fire - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

UPDATE: Pender homeowner speaks, officials believe home was intentionally set on fire

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Pender home believed to be intentionally set on fire Pender home believed to be intentionally set on fire

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Fire officials in Pender County, say they believe a house fire on Monday night is suspicious. Fire Marshall Charles Newman, says he believes the home located on Richard Switch Road was intentionally set on fire.

Rachael Cunningham says she was shocked and devastated to learn that someone would intentionally set her home on fire. She says without insurance she doesn't know what she is going to do.

"Horrible, horrible, everybody that knows me, knows my story, and knows it wasn't that long ago that I lost my parents and lost everything," said Cunningham. "Now I am losing everything in my house? I have nothing left, nothing at all."

Saturday, her friends helped her pick up the pieces.

"My stomach still churns thinking about what happened and I just don't understand why someone would want to do this," said Thomas Burns, her longtime friend. Saturday, he called friends over to the house, so he could load up the remains into a dumpster.

"Walking through the walls you get this mental image of how it used to be," said Burns. "It's not going to be like that again, that's why I am doing what I can to help." He says, he is hoping that cleaning up the debris will help to ease her pain.

"I know she's devastated - she's losing a lot of sleep," said Burns. 

"She was walking around and going through stuff - I know she was hurt," said her brother-in-law Ryan Tompkins. He says these walls hold many memories for her and her family.

The house is more than 100 years old, and many generations of the family lived in it.  Which Cunningham says, makes the fact that someone burned it down, harder to bare.

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