Mother, four children, four animals escape after fire breaks out at home


DOVER, N.C. (WNCT) — A house fire that broke out just after 3 a.m. Thursday left a house in ruins. However, a mother, four children and four of their 10 animals escaped. Six of the animals perished in the fire.

The homeowner, Matt Rivenbark, said his family were sleeping in their home, located off NC Hwy. 55 West near Buck Lane in Dover, when his wife smelled burning plastic. He was at work.

The woman saw a wall was on fire after she opened the garage door. Smoke entered the home and set off the fire detectors. The wife and children escaped unharmed. There were 10 animals in the home, two cats, two dachshunds, a German Shepherd, and a lab who died. Four animals survived including the families potbelly pig.

(Claire Curry, WNCT photo)

The home was destroyed along with two vehicles. Officials believe the fire started in the garage. Firefighters from Jasper Fire Department, Dover Fire Department and Fort Barnwell Volunteer Fire Department responded to the first.

The family was working on a way to set up a donation collection after losing nearly everything. The husband said he and his wife’s guns were undamaged along with a collection of loose change the family was saving for a trip to Disney.

If you’d like to help the family with a donation, you can call State Employee’s Credit Union, mention Matt or Crystal Rivenbark with the home address: 12650 NC-55 West, Dover NC 28526 and the phone number as well (252) 775-1458. 

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