Suspicious fire ravages family's home, father's memories - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Suspicious fire ravages family's home, father's memories

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Digging through the rubble, you can still find old war mementoes left behind from the fire. Digging through the rubble, you can still find old war mementoes left behind from the fire.
Henry Williams, a World War II veteran, earned four battle stars, a Purple Heart, and even wrote a book about combat in the war. Henry Williams, a World War II veteran, earned four battle stars, a Purple Heart, and even wrote a book about combat in the war.
A massive blaze burned the house to the ground. A massive blaze burned the house to the ground.

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) – There are nearly a dozen fires under investigation in Brunswick County dating back to the beginning of the summer.

Authorities are currently trying to determine which ones were accidental and which ones look suspicious.

For two Brunswick County women, the fire that ravaged their home in Civietown took more than just their house -- it ruined the memories of their father.

Emily Riddle and Gale Hodges are the proud daughters of Henry Williams, a World War II veteran who earned four battle stars, a Purple Heart, and even wrote a book about combat in the war. Together, they spent most of their childhood at a home built by their father back in the 1970s.

"His favorite place was the back porch, we had cookouts, and his grand kids could come over," said Hodges. "It was like a hide-away and very peaceful," said Riddle.

But lately, it hasn't been such a peaceful place for this family. A robber took a lot of Williams' war memorabilia a few years ago. Then a few weeks ago, tragedy struck again when a massive blaze burned the house to the ground.

Riddle and Hodges believe someone may have intentionally set the house on fire.

"It's a mixture of pure anger mixed with great sadness," said Hodges.

"We associated the cabin with Dad and now it's just gone," said Riddle. "I just don't understand why someone would do this."

Digging through the rubble, you can still find old war mementoes. But after losing so many sentimental items, the once proud daughters are now feeling remorseful.

"It feels like we attend a funeral when we come down and see this," said Riddle. "This was all that we have left of Dad."

The fire is still under investigation. Authorities have not yet determined the cause of the fire. If you have any information, contact the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office. As for the other fires under investigation, authorities do not believe they are related in any way.

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