It was 3:40 a.m. on Nov. 11 when Wanda Johnson awoke to a loud popping noise. When she opened her bedroom door to investigate, she faced smoke and flames coming from the attic. She yelled for her family, and quickly got her daughter and nephew out of the house to ensure their safety.
But when she and a neighbor tried to put out the fire with a hose, the efforts were futile. The flames were too strong, and soon their beloved home was gone.
The day before, Johnson panicked when a stove fire began and ran to her neighbor’s for help. Johnson believes the fire on Friday led to the larger fire on Tuesday morning, since there may have been residual burning that she couldn’t see or smell.
“Everything was out, didn’t smell nothing," she said. "We thought everything was good. So evidently it must have triggered the wire in the back of the stove in the wall, so it must have got in there some kind of way."
Wanda Johnson’s son, UNC sophomore Darius Johnson, created a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for the rebuilding of his home. So far, the family has raised over $5,000, but their goal is $90,000.