Father killed in Gaston County house fire, around a dozen others displaced

Father loses life in house fire

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) -Right now investigators are working to find out how a deadly fire started in Gaston County.

Flames ripped through a home in Dallas killing one man.

That fire happened on Dusty Hill Road around 3:20 Saturday morning.

WBTV’s Anne Marie Hagerty spoke with the son of the man who died, 65-year-old Jeffrey ‘Bruce’ Michael.

He walked up to the house and dropped to his knees in tears.

He just got the call that his dad had passed in this tragic fire.

“He always had a smile on his face, talking to everybody," said Donavan Davis, who lived in the house that caught on fire with Bruce.

Donovan Davis says he lived in the home since March and about 12 other people lived there as well.

“I woke up to a loud bang. I saw the back door is on fire so I rushed to bang on everyones doors to get them out," said Davis.

Davis was able to get help get most everyone awake and out in time.

“It’s my first time being in a fire," said Davis. "The only thing I was able to grab were my phone, keys and wallet.”

Meanwhile, neighbors like Logan Hobson heard the flames and came to watch from outside.

“I thought it was gunshots at first because the flames were popping so loud then I walked out and the flames were as tall as the pine trees,” said Hobson. “I just feel bad for the people involved, especially the man who passed away.”

Shirley Caldwell says her family has owned this property for generations.

Now the news of a life lost on that land, and others destroyed, bringing her to tears.

“It was just shock to see it and see all those people standing around, now they have nowhere to go," said Caldwell. “My dad owned all this land years ago and it’s just so sad.”

A report on the incident released by Gaston County Police determined that the blaze had trapped Michael inside of a bedroom and that he was unable to escape before crews could reahc him.

The Red Cross is assisting some of these families get back on their feet.

We’ve asked the Gaston County Fire Marshall about how this fire started. Check back with WBTV for updates.

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