Fire marshal confirms identity of man killed in Down East Carteret County fire

Published: Sep. 27, 2016 at 11:58 AM EDT
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Authorities say they are still looking into what caused a deadly fire in Down East Carteret County on Tuesday.

Fire Marshal Eddie Lewis confirms that 48-year-old Bryan Rolison died in the fire on Seashore Drive in Atlantic.

He says the A-frame wood home was a total loss.

At first, firefighters thought there might have been a second victim inside with Rolison, but that woman was later found in Newport.

Family members told authorities that they had not seen Rolison for about a week and a half.

Fire departments from Stacy, Down East and Cedar Island battled the fire for several hours.

Lewis said there was no evidence of an explosion.

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Smoke and rubble are all that remain of a home that went up in flames overnight in Down East Carteret County.

"I saw the flames up in the air and I knew right then, it was bad," says neighbor Donovan Smith.

Smith says he was staying just up the road when he heard a loud noise late Monday night.

"I heard the explosion go off and I really didn't pay it much mind, and then I thought about it for a minute, and I heard another one go off, and I got to thinking then something's not right, and I started hearing crackling, popping, snapping noises," he describes.

Those noises were coming from his neighbor, Bryan Rolison's house on Shore Drive in Atlantic. It had caught on fire right around midnight.

"I couldn't even get within 20 feet of the end of the trailer because it was so hot and so much heat coming off, I just started spraying the roof and the end of the trailer and I had a pretty good idea that Bryan was in there, cause I know him pretty good and it's just a shame," Smith says.

Officials with the Atlantic Fire Department confirm that a man didn't make it out of the fire. Neighbors say it was Rolison.

"He kept to himself, but I've known him my whole life," Smith tells WITN.

He says that while the community is devastated by this loss, they are thankful Rolison's son and girlfriend were not staying there at the time.

"I can't imagine, I wouldn't want to imagine what they are going through right now," the neighbor expresses.

Officials on scene say when they arrived, flames were well above 30 feet in the air and the home was destroyed.

Investigators from the Carteret County Fire Marshal's Office have been called in to assist with the investigation and to determine how the victim died and say they are still working to positively identify him.

At this time, investigators say they are still trying to piece together what might have started the fire, but say at this point, they believe it happened in the front of the house near the living room.


A man is dead after fire ripped through a home in Down East Carteret County.

The Down East Volunteer Fire Department says they got the call to Shore Drive in Atlantic around midnight.

It took 35 firefighters about six hours to get the fire out, while there continues to be hot spots.

The fire chief says they don't know yet what started the fire, but they believe it began in the front of the house.

A neighbor says 48-year-old Bryan Rolison lived in the home. That neighbor says he heard several explosions and then saw the fire.

The name of the victim has not yet been released.

The fire also burned a van and some trees that were nearby.