MAIDEN, N.C. - The State Bureau of Investigations is investigating a house fire in Maiden where a man in a wheelchair was found dead.
The fire broke out before 11:30 p.m. Sunday on Gilly Road.
The 58-year-old man’s death isn’t suspicious, according to a lieutenant at the scene. Investigators haven’t been able to determine what started the fire, but said it was most likely accidental.
Terry Brice, who was a quadriplegic, lived at the home with his mother, according to the victim’s daughter.
Officials said the victim's mother was at a neighbor's home when the fire broke out, but was alerted about the fire. They said she tried to save her son but the fire and smoke were too heavy.
Friends tried to break windows and force open the front door to reach Brice, but they said by then the smoke and heat was too much.
Devore Henry and his cousin also tried repeatedly to reach their friend.
"It was just too much,” Henry said. “The flames were too much and there was too much smoke."
Firefighters said the home is a total loss.
Family members said there had been an electrics fire just last week near a dryer in the home. They also said Brice was known to smoke.
"I just loved him as a good friend,” friend Marion Freeman said. “Broke down, couldn't believe it. Terrifying what he (went through.) couldn't believe that."
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