One dead, five displaced in Thomasville house fire

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THOMASVILLE, N.C. -- A fire at a home on Cox Avenue Thursday morning killed one man and left five displaced.

The fire started on the second floor of the two-story home just before 3 a.m.

"My neighbors came and woke me up, banging on the door, saying it was smoke and a fire upstairs," said resident Jessie Taylor.

Taylor and five others lost everything.

"It was rough," he said.

Police aren't releasing the name of the victim but say he was an older male. His body has been sent to the state medical examiner's office in Raleigh.

"I was just talking to him earlier," Taylor said. "I feel sorry for his family."

The home was used as a five-unit boarding house.

Taylor and others who lived there say the house didn't have any smoke alarms or working fire extinguishers.

"It could have potentially saved a life or woke up the folks in the home," said Chuck George, an administrator and inspector for Thomasville's Planning and Zoning Department.

In Thomasville, all boarding houses are required to have at least one smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector per floor.

"The owner hasn't notified the City of Thomasville of converting this single family dwelling into a boarding house," George said.

But despite losing everything, those who made it out say their main concern is each other.

"We're going to call and keep up with each other," Taylor said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the SBI.

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