Woman badly burned in fire
A Lenoir woman was listed in critical condition at an area hospital Tuesday after being badly burned in an early morning fire that destroyed the single-wide mobile home where she and her 8-year-old son had lived for two years. Three pet dogs and a bird died.
The fire at 607 Jason Place was reported by a couple who lives across the street and awoke about 3 a.m. to the sound of barking dogs.
"I heard them and got up to see what was happening," said the man, who said his first name is Ricky and declined to give his last name. "I looked and saw an orange glow on the bank (behind the trailer). I called 911."
His wife, who gave her name only as Angel, came outside and saw the 8-year-old, Joushua Mendoza, leaning against a car parked in front of the trailer, crying. His mother, 32-year-old Megan Stanfield, was badly burned.
"She was in a daze, saying, 'I don't know what happened,'" Angel said. "I saw where she was burned, it looked bad. Her skin was coming off."
Stanfield was listed in critical condition at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, a hospital spokesman said. She had second- and third-degree burns over 30 percent of her body, primarily on her head, hands and arms, Lenoir Fire Chief Ken Briscoe said.
The trailer was reduced to charred rubble, a stack of firewood leaning precariously against what was left of the front side of the mobile home. Investigators said the fire was accidental but they had not yet determined how it started, though they think it started in a front bedroom.
Stanfield's boyfriend, Johnny Bumgarner, said the front bedroom was Joushua's, but in the winter it stayed closed off because there was no heat, and Joushua slept in the living room. Bumgarner said Stanfield used to have a wood stove, but she got rid of it.
Bumgarner found out about the tragedy when the boy's school, Davenport A+, called looking for the child. Bumgarner called his girlfriend's stepmother, who told him about the fire.
"I'm a little shook up now, I don't even know how she is doing," he said early Tuesday afternoon.