Smithfield Herald

Fire kills two

A fire Aug. 3 consumed this house on County Line Road, Angier.
A fire Aug. 3 consumed this house on County Line Road, Angier.

The cause of a fire that killed two people last weekend remains under investigation.

At 4:20 a.m. Aug. 3, emergency services responded to a call at 2028 County Line Road, Angier, according to Johnston County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Tammy Amaon. The fire destroyed the house and a sport utility vehicle. The house was built in 1928.

Firefighters found two bodies inside, and the Sheriff’s Office said it expected medical examiners to identify them soon.

But neighbors said the dead were the home’s owner, James Leon Johnson Jr., and his girlfriend, both in their 50s.

Neighbors called the fatal fire a tragedy.

One neighbor, who asked not to be named, said the fire woke her up but there was nothing anyone could do. “We just watched it burn,” she said.

She said Johnson was a good person and very humble. “He kept to himself, bothered no one,” she said.

Tonya Barnes, another neighbor, said Johnson had lived in the house for at least 20 years and liked to collect Civil War items.

Barnes said Johnson and his girlfriend were nice people who kept to themselves.

“That lady would feed my dog every day,” Barnes said as her dog crossed the road and walked toward the burned house.