NEW INFO: Mansion Fire Investigation Turned Over To Police

The investigation into Friday morning's mansion fire in Greenville has been turned over to police.

Greenville Fire Rescue says the fire at the home on Prince Drive started in a storage room inside the attached garage, but the exact cause is undetermined.

The home, owned by Donald and Carolyn Stanley, is over 9,500 square feet. Three people inside manage to escape the blaze, but one Greenville firefighter was take to the hospital for smoke inhalation.

In all, 35 firefighters battle the blaze which took several hours to extinguish.


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Firefighters say a huge Greenville house that burned early this morning only had one smoke detector.

The 9500 square foot home on Prince Road was heavily damage in the 2:30 a.m. fire.

Captain Brock Davenport says they initially dispatched six fire trucks and five ambulances to the fire. They say fighting the fire was like fighting an apartment fire, with more than 35 members on the scene and other departments from the county manning Greenville fire stations.

The three people inside got out uninjured. Investigators believe the fire started in the garage area. They say it may be the afternoon before they determine an exact cause.

Deputy Chief Eric Griffin says the homeowner told him there was only one smoke detector in the expansive home, and that was in the kitchen.

Tax records say the home is owned by Donald & Carolyn Stanley. Those records show the home is 9,547 square feet and was built in 1971. It has a tax value of just under $375,000.


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A family of three is lucky to be alive after their home caught fire early Friday morning.

Greenville Fire-Rescue tells WITN it happened on Prince Road.

Two adults and a teen were sleeping inside when the fire alarm went off.

They were able to escape safely, but the size of the home, which is 9,000 square feet, has made the fire fighting tough.

One fireman had to be taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation.

Information Officer Shannon Terry, says 35 members of their personnel are on the scene and have been since 2:30am when the call came in.

Other fire departments in Pitt County have come in to man the Greenville stations which were left empty because all the trucks were on this one house fire.

Stay with WITN as we bring you more information as it becomes available to us.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Kay Location: Chocowinity on Mar 23, 2012 at 02:08 PM
    I worked with Don Stanley for 22 years. He designed and built the large addition by himself, over a period of many years. It really was a labor of love for him. He and his family have now lost irreplaceable family photos, letters, etc. Neither the size of his house, nor its tax value, is relevant in this sad situation. I'm so relieved he and his family are safe.
  • by godbeliever Location: Pinetown Nc on Mar 23, 2012 at 02:00 PM
    WOW GLAD I WONT THERE id be having a heartattack
    • reply
      by Caren on Mar 23, 2012 at 02:05 PM in reply to godbeliever
      YEA GIRL BETTER BE GLAD!
  • by Mille on Mar 23, 2012 at 01:00 PM
    Melissa, Please pay no attention to the comments made. You know what the truth is and I think as long as people can support their lifestyle and no one else is paying for it, they are entitled to what they have. My thoughts and prayers to you and your family. Be proud of hard working and loving parents,
  • by Lisa Location: Pitt County on Mar 23, 2012 at 12:34 PM
    It amazes me with the comments on here. And people wonder where our world is going? Why make these comments when someone has lost so much. Whether it is a house of hay or fine expensive stone, it is still someones home. Everyone posting comments should be greatful for still having a roof over your own head and having your family with you. We should be singing praises that no life was lost and that we a have such wonderful dedicated fire, rescue, law enforcement officers. STOP with the stupid comments. Say your prayers because you still have a home and a roof over your head!!!
  • by john doe Location: Raleigh on Mar 23, 2012 at 11:45 AM
    The tax value was such b/c only 1700-2000 sq ft. was habitable at the time of the fire. The rest was under contstruction. No one was getting a break on their taxes.
  • by Eastwood Resident on Mar 23, 2012 at 11:28 AM
    I was out very early this morning and saw the firefighters working VERY hard fighting this fire. Like law enforcement, these are folks who run into burning buildings or dangerous situations when others are running away. My hat is off to them and they have my gratitude. This fire was and is a tragedy.
    • reply
      by Amazing, Huh? on Mar 23, 2012 at 12:17 PM in reply to Eastwood Resident
      It still baffles me that anyone would make derogatory general comments about fire fighters & paramedics. I understand why some would say negative things about the police (drug dealers, drunk drivers, wife beaters, thugs, etc) but Fire & Rescue are just regular people, willing to put their life on the line, for yours. Cops are out to bust you...Firemen are NOT gonna bust you if they don't HAVE to.
  • by Carol Location: Greenville on Mar 23, 2012 at 11:24 AM
    The owners of this home are friends of ours. You cannot find nicer people. The owner has worked on building this home with his own two hands, for many years. It saddens me that people focus on the size of the home, its value, how many fire fighters were involved, how many people live in the home, etc. A kind and loving family has watched their home burn down. We are thankful that the family is OK. Please show a little compassion for their loss.
  • by melissa stanley on Mar 23, 2012 at 11:16 AM
    This is my parents home. The home I grew up in. The home they opened up once again to me and my son after my divorce. My father built this home with his two hands (was still building) over many many years. This was not a mansion despite how it's being reported. it was a labor of love and they lost all of their belongings. Yes I agree this house looked enormous but my parents are not wealthy people, just people that worked very hard all their lives for everything they have. I am grateful to all the friends and neighbors that have come and shown their support to my parents and my son. I appreciate the efforts of the firefighters and the Greenville Fire Department in their trying to save their home. My parents are good people dealing with a huge loss. In the end it's just a material lost and I know that I speak for my whole family in saying we are truly grateful that everyone is safe.
    • reply
      by Marie on Mar 23, 2012 at 11:55 AM in reply to melissa stanley
      You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Although material losses are not as devistating as the loss of a life, I am sure you and your family are feeling tremendous loss just the same. God bless you all.
    • reply
      by Empathy on Mar 23, 2012 at 02:11 PM in reply to melissa stanley
      Melissa, I am so sorry for your loss. Words cannot express how it feels to lose your family home in such a manner. I was seven years old when our home burned to the ground and to this day, it still haunts me. Our home just happened to be a Victorian "mansion" in western Pennsylvania. We were not rich by any means; however, my parents bought the home in order to restore it to its original state. Our home and all of our belongings were completely consumed by fire, two weeks before Christmas. As in your situation, the firefighters tried their best to save our home, but to no avail. In the end, we had each other and that is all that matters. I do not know your family; however, I pray for your quick recovery from this devastating loss. May God be with you.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 23, 2012 at 02:18 PM in reply to melissa stanley
      I am truly sorry for the loss of your family's home. May God give them strength as they try to rebuild their lives.
  • by A Friend on Mar 23, 2012 at 10:01 AM
    I am a friend of the teen that lives in that house and I am so sad to see what happened. I drove by earlier and it is truly devastating. I have watched the family build the house up by hand for nearly 15 years and was in shock to see nearly half of it gone. Prayers and thoughts for the family.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 23, 2012 at 09:31 AM
    It saddens me that people worry about how many firefighters are called out or how big the house is or how many people live in the house. It isn't just a house, this is a home. and now their home is gone with I am sure a good portion of their personal belongings. Prays to the family
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 23, 2012 at 09:59 AM in reply to
      AMEN!
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