Men Killed In Morehead City Shed Fire Identified

More than a week after two men were found dead inside a burned-out Morehead City shed and authorities have identified them.

Medical records helped identify 63-year-old Michael Ray and 65-year-old Bucky Bryan.

The two men were found dead inside the shed at Willis Mobile Home Park around 8:00 p.m. last Sunday. Police say electricity was illegally hooked up in the shed and the park manager had previously complained about squatters living in the building.

The fire started due to an electrical problem, according to authorities.

Police say the delay in identifying the victims were because of the condition of their bodies and no identification was found at the scene.
An autopsy performed last week said both men died from smoke inhalation.


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Investigators now say an electrical problem caused a deadly fire in Morehead City Sunday night that claimed the lives of two men.

The two men were found in a shed that had caught fire at the Willis Mobile Home Park around 8:00 p.m. Police say electricity was illegally hooked up in the shed and the park manager had previously complained about squatters living in the building.

An autopsy performed Wednesday says both men died from smoke inhalation.

The men have still not been identified.


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Police say they do not suspect foul play in a fire that claimed the lives of two men Sunday night in Morehead City.

Shortly after 8:00 p.m., officers were called to Willis Mobile Home Park off of Bridges Street.

When officers got to the scene they found one body in the doorway and another body inside. Those bodies have not been identified.

Police say electricity was illegally connected to the shed, with appliances hooked up.

Julie Moore, manager of the trailer park, says since April squatters have been living in that shed. She has called police and the squatters have been warned multiple times to leave. Moore says she is pretty sure at least one of the people who perished in the fire was a squatter.

The fire department says the cause of the blaze is undetermined and remains under investigation. The shed is owned by Sam Guthrie, who owns 18 trailers in the park.

Police say autopsies for the two dead men are planned for Wednesday.


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Morehead City officers are investigating after they were called out to a shed fire and they found two bodies.

Officers say they were called out to a shed fire at Willis Mobile Home Park off of Bridges Street in Morehead City around 8 p.m.

When officers got to the scene they found one body in the doorway and another body inside. Those bodies have not been identified.

Officers are still on scene investigating.

Stay with witn.com and WITN News for the latest on this developing story.


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  • by Len Location: Jacksonville on Jan 24, 2012 at 03:00 PM
    Can anyone tell me where "Rock Bottom" happens to be? Looks like these guys were there and could not find their way out... Makes you wonder if it really matters. So sad. but so common. God Bless their soles.......
  • by laurie Location: moreheadcity on Jan 24, 2012 at 12:52 PM
    one of the fellows that died should of had a place to live as he recieved a large check from uncle sam each month im sad he chose the lifestyle he chose. ive been their neighbor then landlord and u can believe that those two partied till their last breath. the police constantly had to respond to calls on them even made by each other to settle things down. even tho they will be missed.
  • by thetruth Location: morehead city on Jan 20, 2012 at 07:02 PM
    speaking of homeless, anyone hear about the guy that died on the biketrail....he was homeless living in a hotel.....he was kicked out of the hotel for being intoxicated and throwing his personal items into the parking lot....his girlfriend left him earlier with his truck...so the mhc cops were called to the hotel...the man begged the cops to arrest him and take his puppy....he had drugs and knives on him...cops wouldn't take him because he had asked them to take him...go figure...anyway man walks down the bike path, he basicly has no where to go, no money, no transportation...next day man is found on the bike path dead....how did he die, well he passed out from drugs or alcohol....vomited on himself and the pit puppy who was tied to him who probally had not eatten in a while....ate the mans neck and ruptured his main artery...and he basicly bleed to death...morehead city cops should have arrested this man and he would still be alive today....
    • reply
      by But... on Jan 24, 2012 at 12:45 PM in reply to thetruth
      I can see what you're getting at, and yes, the MHCPD should have arrested him for having drugs on his person, but think about this man's life for a minute. Not his actual heart-beating life, but his quality of life. He was a homeless, drug and alcohol addicted criminal. Do we, as a society, really have the means to continue to support someone like this or is it best to let people live their lives without so much government intervention? I would never say that someone deserves to die, but this guy wasn't really worth saving. You can't save everyone!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jan 24, 2012 at 12:53 PM in reply to thetruth
      OMG, that is the most horrible thing I've read in a while. Sad thing is, boozing and drugging can lead one down that path. Yet, time after time people are arrested, dusted off, cleaned up, let go and fall right back into the former life style. While it is VERY sad, it is a personal choice. Wish there were an overhaul of rehab/prison that INCLUDED mental health evaluations. Many have underlying mental health issues and self medicate with drugs/alcohol.
  • by Kay on Jan 19, 2012 at 06:45 PM
    How many of these people are illegal immigrants? As the news states a lot of them cant speak English. Sounds like a lot of them need to be sent back where they came from.
    • reply
      by Not so fast there on Jan 24, 2012 at 12:21 PM in reply to Kay
      Just because someone doesn't speak English doesn't mean they don't have a green card or are here illegally. Don't be so quick to judge based on one bit of information. Unless you're a native American, your ancestors came over on a boat and didn't speak English either when they got here.
  • by Homeless? on Jan 19, 2012 at 03:10 PM
    I understand that these 'sheds' may not pass code, but these are what is considered home for these people. They have condemned these people from their 'homes' in mid January. Guess it is better to live on the streets in dead winter because your house may have a fire. What's next, knocking on the cardboard boxes and tell the homeless them they have to vacate because their box can't pass code????
  • by yukon on Jan 18, 2012 at 08:00 PM
    the mobile home park on 20th street across from the the soccer field needs to be looked into also
  • by yukon on Jan 18, 2012 at 06:56 PM
    Channel 14 News showed a interview with a kid in the park Some familys had to leave because homes where condemed I feel sorry for them But this place looks like a Dump
    • reply
      by AB on Jan 18, 2012 at 07:56 PM in reply to yukon
      you are so right they also look at the mobile home park on 20th street used to be Apple Mobile Park it was a nice park years aga
  • by Danny Location: morhead city on Jan 18, 2012 at 05:57 PM
    Alright so i have been thinking about this and i have a question,The city have know about people living in the sheds for probably quite a while and it takes the death of two men for the police to do something? I have lived here for the past 3 years and i have seen the good and the bad sides of Willis mobile home park and here recently i have seen more of the good side than bad, im a 15 year old boy and im not scared to walk around the park at night, the news decides to come in here and show the bad part, they don't show the part where the kids are running around, playing basketball, and playing with dogs in their yards, there is more to us who live here than what the news decides to show, don't judge us on how we live and what happens here because it happens in other place the news is just choosing to show the bad part of Willis
  • by cynthia Location: Willis Mobile Home Park on Jan 18, 2012 at 05:12 PM
    I would like to set a few facts straight I live in Willis mobile home park. I have been here 3 years and I have seen Mrs. Julie trying to clean this park up. I have heard her call the city about Guthrie and the way he keeps his mobile homes. The city did NOTHING but come out and look then leave. There are families like mine who live here work everyday pay our bills and raise our kids. I have no problem with letting my son run this park at night. There is no more drugs here then they are in other neighbor hoods. There is one thing that people are forgetting 2 people died. No one is stating the fact that one of them had an apartment here in Morehead and the other had been told to leave. When a town has homeless people that do nothing but drink and pass out where ever what do you do? Would it be different if they walked out in front of a truck/car and killed? I live here and I am tired of my neighbor hood being put down. You don"t see the kids playing in the streets, riding their bikes, playing tag or basketball the only thing you see is what the news is telling you not what truly goes on here neighbors helping neighbors and children being children. If you don't live here you have no right to judge us cause you don't know us. Don't judge us unless you want us to judge you. The thing is that it is pretty sad that it took 2 men to die for the town to finally do something to help Mrs. Julie and that the 2 men are getting lost in this story.
  • by Shelby Moore Location: Morehead City on Jan 17, 2012 at 08:44 PM
    Reading MOST of these comments makes me sick! All of you are so quick to judge my familys park when you all know NOTHING! We should be worried about what we can do to help, and to remember the lost souls not sit on your computer and type "oh half of them are into drugs" or "they just want money" .. And those people were NOT paying to live in a shed they were TOLD to get out of. I wish the news would interview me, because I'd give them what they really need the TRUTH. I've grown up in this place for 17 years, and yes the park has had bad names, but if half of you knew how hard my mother has worked to get the trash out of here you'd back off some.
    • reply
      by MHC Resident on Jan 18, 2012 at 03:36 PM in reply to Shelby Moore
      Unfortunately the press here in ENC is more interested in sensationalism than facts. We've seen this time and again. They don't want us to know all the facts surrounding a story, if we did we might rebel and kick some of these fat cat, do nothing politicians out of office. Here Morehead City spends millions of dollars on things we don't need (a baseball field, an empty lot, etc.) yet we have people living in a shed while the temps dip well below freezing. Had these two poor folks died of exposure it wouldn't have even made the news at all.
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