WINSTON-SALM, N.C. (WGHP) — A Winston-Salem man was charged with arson on Tuesday after an elderly woman died in a fire in June, and a man was found dead in a home that caught fire, according to a Winston-Salem Police Department news release.
Marshall Russell Edwards, 68, of Winston-Salem, was charged with first-degree arson in connection to a fire on Renigar Street on June 22 that left 81-year-old Barbara Harmon dead. He is being held on a $1,000,000 bond.
He was also charged with arson in connection to a fire on Sunday on East 22nd Street where the body of Jessie Lee Scott, 58, of Winston-Salem, was found in a home.
Isaiah Stephenson Sr. talked to FOX8 about watching the flames engulf the home on Renigar Street.
“It’s just a weird feeling seeing something like that,” Stephenson said. “Knowing somebody was still in there…was even worse.”
Winston-Salem police tell FOX8 that while firefighters tried to put out the flames at the house fire, they discovered the body of Harmon.
“I saw them when they took the little yellow top to cover the body…it was sad. I don’t wish that on anybody,” said Chantelle Wilson, a neighbor.
The home used to be one woman’s family home. She raised her kids there.
Then more than a decade ago, she decided to move and convert the house into a home care site for seniors and people with disabilities.
It’s one of three she manages in Winston-Salem.
She and her home supervisor tell FOX8 there were four people inside the house at the time it caught on fire: two men ages 53 and 62, 81-year-old Barbara Harmon and a caregiver.
Wilson watched the caregiver run back inside to try and save Harmon.
“It was very sad. I hate to see anything happen to anyone. It brought tears to my eyes when they could not get her out,” Wilson said.
Investigators cleared the scene Thursday afternoon after spending more than 12 hours combing through broken glass, melting siding and charred furniture.
In their initial fire attack, first responders described heavy flames in the basement portion of the home, moving up to the main floor and roof.