WILSON’S LOCAL PRINT AND DIGITAL COMMUNITY INSTITUTION SINCE 1896

Man injured, loses home in fire

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A Wilson man was burned when his home caught fire early Thursday morning.

William Glenn Oakey, who was renting the trailer at 4505 Rosebud Church Road, directly behind Angels’ Attic at the same address, was burned on both hands, his stomach and both legs. He was transported to Wilson Medical Center by Wilson EMS.

“Around 2:30 I started smelling something in the trailer,” Oakey said Thursday morning, back at the site of the fire. “I thought it was people down the road burning in the woods or something. I walked down the hallway, and I saw a light coming out of the back room. There was a fire back there.”

Oakey attempted to put the fire out himself.

“I beat the mess out of it with a towel, and then I backed up and opened the back door and whoosh. It all went up, and that was it,” Oakey said. “I ran and got my cell phone and a bag of clothes.” Oakey called 911.

“I got burned on my hands and legs and stomach beating that fire,” Oakey said. “I went through the fire too. I was going out the back door.

“It didn’t go out.”

Chief Linwood Jones of the Toisnot Rural Fire Department said the call came in at 3:23 a.m.

“It was fully involved and pretty close to being on the ground when we got there,” Jones said.

Jones said it took about 20 minutes to get the fire under control.

“We had four departments including Toisnot, Silver Lake, East Nash and Bakertown and about 35 firefighters,” Jones said.

After calling 911, Oakey called Jennifer Scott, executive director of Angels’ Attic Ministries Inc.

“I told her to hurry up because the store was starting to burn, starting to melt,” Oakey said.

Vinyl siding on the entire back of the store was melted and sagging. The trailer was about 15 feet away from the back of the store.

“We were very blessed that we didn’t have any damage other than that,” Scott said. “We were very blessed. Our store is over 100 years old.”

Angels’ Attic, a clothing ministry, has been in the building for 10 years.

Oakey said he had rented the trailer for about the last 15 years.

He lost his wallet, his car keys and his life’s possessions in the fire.

“I’ve got about five pair of pants and six shirts that I saved in a book bag,” Oakey said. “These are the only shoes I got right there. I just grabbed it and took off. It was gone.”

Oakey said he has been living on that road since he was 12 years old.

Oakey, who is employed as a paver with Whitehurst Paving, is staying with his sister for the time being.

“I don’t know how the fire started. I did hear a car pull up now, and they left. I don’t know,” Oakey said. “I can’t say if somebody threw something in the back room. My window opens up like that and you could throw something in. I don’t know what happened. Everybody likes me though. I ain’t got no enemies. It might have been electric. That trailer has been there a long time.”

The fire briefly rekindled Thursday about 10 a.m. and was watered down again by firefighters.

There wasn’t much left of the trailer to burn.

Jones said the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

“We don’t have a clue what caused it,” Jones said. “It was burned up so bad from one end to the other. It was completely destroyed. We’ll probably never know what happened.”

No firefighters were hurt fighting the blaze.

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