Disabled man loses home home in Maxton to blaze

First Posted: 12/16/2013

MAXTON — A disabled man and his handicapped son lost nearly everything when a fire destroyed his home on Sunday afternoon.

Edward Ray Bryant, 64, went for a walk and returned home at about 2:30 p.m. to find smoke and flames at his McBred Road address, according to Robeson County Fire Marshal Stephanie Chavis.

According to Chavis, the cause of the fire is still unknown but two electrical heaters were found in what little remained of the home.

“This time of year unfortunately heater fires and Christmas tree fires are common,” Chavis said. “All too often they overheat and are too close to furniture or drapes.”

As of 3 p.m. on Monday, parts of the property were still smouldering, said Lt. Brian Duckworth, fire investigator for the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office. Queheel, Smiths and Evans Crossroad firefighters fought the fire.

Bryant lived in the home with his son, who is confined to a wheelchair, Chavis said. According to Chavis, Bryant’s son was in Lumberton at the hospital when the blaze occurred.

Because the home had been paid off, Bryant did not have insurance, Chavis said.

The Red Cross provided Bryant and his son with emergency financial aid to buy food, clothing, bedding and linens, said Carol Ann Lentz, disaster program manager. The Red Cross also donated winter clothes to the family and “comfort kits,” which contain necessities like toothbrushes and soap.

“With all of our clients we continue to follow their recovery … to help them get back to a normal way of life as soon as possible,” Lentz said.