Body of man in wheelchair found inside burning Maiden home - | WBTV Charlotte

Body of man in wheelchair found inside burning Maiden home

Brice (Photo courtesy family) Brice (Photo courtesy family)
(Steve Ohnesorge | WBTV) (Steve Ohnesorge | WBTV)
(Steve Ohnesorge | WBTV) (Steve Ohnesorge | WBTV)
CATAWBA COUNTY, NC (WBTV) -

A man found dead inside a burning home in Maiden Sunday night has been identified as 59-year-old Terry Brice. 

Firefighters arrived around 10:45 p.m. to a home on Gilly Road with thick black smoke showing. Firefighters say after extinguishing the flames, they found Brice's body inside. 

His mother lives with him and was next door for just a few minutes. She said when she came back the smoke was pouring out of the house. She said her son was in a wheelchair due to a stroke several years ago.

She called 911 but there was nothing anyone could do to save her son, she said.

Brice was trapped in a back bedroom where no one could get to him when the fire broke out. His only escape route would have been through the front door where a ramp is in place.

Investigators have not finished looking into the cause, but family members said they were told it is possible the blaze was started by a cigarette. 

No one knew if there was a working smoke detector in the home, and investigators say the damage is so severe they may never know. 

Brice's family says he was someone to look up to. 

Alizah Morrison, Brice's grandson, had tears in his eyes as he looked at the burned out home Monday morning. 

"I love my grandpa more than anything," he said. 

Morrison said Brice was full of spirit and determination, despite being wheelchair bound. 

"No matter what life threw at him he always held his head up," he said.

Brice's niece, Victoria Brice, said her uncle was a fighter. 

"He kept saying every day, 'I'm gonna walk again,' and he never gave up," she said.

The family says they will lean on each other to get through the days ahead, but will also never forget the man they said had a big smile and a laugh to go with it. 

The SBI has also been called to assist, and the Red Cross is assisting Brice's mother.

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