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June 2, 2018


WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Neighbors along Camp Creek believe an elderly father and his son died in a fire in their own home late Thursday night.

Two men died in this house fire on Saturday morning. Details on how the fire started are still sketchyTwo men died in this house fire on Saturday morning. Details on how the fire started are still sketchy


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One of those neighbors, Joel Jarrell, was on his way to pick up the son when he saw the house was engulfed.

“You just see a house totally engulfed in flames,” he said. “You really don't even know what to do."

Smoke still was rising in the air Friday afternoon, more than 12 hours after the deadly house fire was first spotted.

Jarrell had just spent some time at the house that day and was heading back late Thursday night to go with one of the men to the store and bank.

He saw the glow of the flames along Camp Creek, a short stretch of road between Crum and Fort Gay.

"The smell, just totally awful smell," remembers Jarrell.

He sped back and got his girlfriend Tammy Payton to call 911. She raced over, screaming for her neighbors.

"Didn't get no response,” Payton said. “Nothing you couldn't get close to it."

We're not releasing the names of the men who lived at the home, but they're remembered as friendly and good neighbors, with plenty of cameras to keep an eye on any strange cars -- and even phone a warning sometimes.

"If you had trouble with a garage door, or trouble with the lawnmower, he'd help you with it,” Jarrell said. “He'd do anything in the world for you."

"Country folk,” said Helen Cupp, Jarrell’s mother. “Pure country."

"No matter what color my hair is, I was his Big Red,” said Payton. "I'm going to miss that."

Now, there's just two houses left on Camp Creek, Jarrell's and Cupp’s. There’s just one way in and one way out so every trip now means a drive by a shell of a house, a place where two men lost their lives.

"I don't think I want to go down there for awhile," Cupp said.

"It's going to be weird not seeing them sitting on the porch," Payton added.

"To tell you the truth, I need to go to the store and the bank now, I don't want to go," Jarrell said.

The state fire marshal's office is investigating, but will not be releasing the names of the victims until the medical examiner can identify them. Investigators have not determined a cause of the fire, but do tell us there were no smoke alarms inside.


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