Mother and Three Children Die in North Carolina House Fire

Fire Fighters from the Eastside, Coleridge-Erect and Franklinville Fire Departments were called Tuesday morning March 6th @ 10:24 a.m. to the address of 3691 NC Hwy 42 South, Asheboro, North Carolina in the Grantville community of Randolph County in reference to a mobile home fire. Fire equipment and personnel from the Eastside Fire Department arrived on scene just 3 minutes and 44 seconds after receiving the call from 911 Telecommunicators to find a single wide mobile home with heavy fire coming from the center of the mobile home.

This is when firefighters were told by family members that there were victims still inside the home. Upon learning of this information, firefighters quickly made entry into the rear of the structure and into the back bedroom where they quickly located and brought out the first victim, 10 month old Paige Calhoun. Firefighters were unable to immediately search the rest of the house due to the heavy fire conditions through-out. It took firefighters approx. 20 minutes to bring the fire under control to the point that firefighters could enter the rest of the structure to search for the remaining victims. After several minutes of searching, fire fighters found the remaining three victims. Found first was 2 year old Brooke Calhoun, then 3 year old Trevor Calhoun and last was 23 year old Tracy Moroughan. Both Brooke and Trevor were found in the hallway and Tracy was found in the front bedroom.

While this was happening on scene, it was requested that a deputy sheriff go to the place of business of the father whom was at work at the time of the fire and to escort him back to the scene of the fire. Once the father, Douglas Calhoun arrived on scene with deputies, it was then he learned the fate of his family. Firefighters were also hit very emotionally, some cried on scene while others cried later. This fire took a very emotional toll on almost every firefighter on scene, some firefighter even grieved with the families. Firefighter spent the next hour putting out hot spots so that the fire investigators could make entry into the residence to try and determine an origin and cause to the fire.

Fire Investigators from the Randolph County Fire Marshal's Office, NC State Bureau of Investigation and detectives with the Randolph County Sheriff's Office spent several hours searching through the burned out mobile home to find answers as to how this fire started. The search for clues was quickly narrowed to the living room area and specifically to a couch that set on the front wall of the home next to the front door. Investigator spent hours trying to reconstruct the living room as it would have been before the fire started. After doing this, it was determined that the fire started on the left side of a recliner sofa that set on the front wall, right next to the front door. The investigators have determined this fire to be accidental in nature. There were two accidental sources of ignition around this area of the couch and neither source can be ruled out as an exact cause.