A fatal weekend house fire that claimed the life of a deaf man was ruled Wednesday as accidental. The Johnston County Fire Marshal’s Office said the blaze was started by an unattended pot left on a stove.
Around 5:00 am Saturday, flames destroyed a home on South Fifth Street next to the Smithfield Police Department. Eight people were inside the home. Seven made it out alive. One person, identified by family members as 43 year-old Michael Carol Davis, was upstairs and died.
Assistant Johnston County Fire Marshal Banks Wallace said a pot left unattended on the stove started the fire. Wallace said the home did not have working smoke detectors. He said working smoke detectors can reduce the chance of injury or death in a house fire.
The blaze was ruled as accidental.
The Red Cross is assisting the family.
The Smithfield Police Department, Smithfield Fire Department, and federal ATF agents assisted with the investigation. Photos by John Payne