Body found in burned-out home

First Posted: 7/9/2012

Abbi Overfelt

Teddy Kulmala

Staff writers

An autopsy will determine if an Orrum man whose body was found in a home destroyed by a fire this weekend died as a result of the blaze. In an unrelated weekend incident, a fire destroyed a Lumberton home that partly belongs to U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre’s wife.

The dead man, identified as 49-year-old Michael Ledonne, was found at about 4:23 p.m. Sunday in the bedroom of the single-wide trailer he shared with his brother at 82 Cub Drive, according to sheriff’s Lt. Brian Duckworth.

Family members who had gathered at the home of his sister, who lived next door, saw the fire at about 4:17 p.m. and attempted to rescue Ledonne but could not enter the home because of heavy smoke, Duckworth said.

Duckworth said that the cause of the fire has not yet been determined, but it appears to have started on a bed. Investigators were told that Ledonne was a heavy smoker, Duckworth said.

“At this point, it does appear to be accidental,” he said.

Family members had been in and out of the home during the afternoon to check on Ledonne, who was diabetic, Duckworth said.

Britts and Orrum volunteer firefighters responded to the scene within 6 minutes and extinguished the fire quickly, Duckworth said. Fire marshals and agents from the State Bureau of Investigation also responded.

Ledonne’s body was take to Chapel Hill for the autopsy.

On Saturday, a fire destroyed a one-store home at 1212 Hardin Road that is believed to have been caused by a barbecue grill, Lumberton Fire Chief Paul Ivey said.

Ivey said the fire was reported at 4:48 p.m. and Lumberton and East Howellsville firefighters had it under control 45 minuts later. Two people who were in the home escaped without injury, Ivey said, and one firefighter was taken to Southeastern Regional Medical Center and treated for dehydration and released the same day.

Firefighters remained at the home putting out hotspots until about 8 p.m.

According to Robeson County tax records, the home was listed as being owned by three people, one of whom is McIntyre’s wife Denise. The home was valued at $99,600.