Investigators: Cat knocks over kerosene lamp, ignites fire

Investigators: Cat knocks over kerosene lamp, ignites fire

NEW BERN, CRAVEN COUNTY - A woman is displaced by a fire in an overnight blaze that not only destroyed her home, but took the life of her two cats.

Investigators with New Bern Fire Department told NewsChannel12 they think a kerosene lamp was knocked over by one of the cats, igniting the fire. The fire destroyed the home, located at 841 Green Street, in New Bern. It happened Friday night at 11:20.

The woman who lived in the house is 60-year-old Josephine Everett.  She said sitting on her front porch with her neighbor probably saved her life. Everett also said she and the neighbor were talking when she heard an explosion coming from inside her home.


"The kerosene lamp went ka-boom. I had never heard an explosion like that," Everett said.

Everett said she had just come outside, from feeding her cats, a few minutes before the explosion occurred. She said that's when she thinks one of her cats knocked over the kerosene lamp which may have started the fire.

Everett wanted to go in and get the cats but she was told not to.

Her two cats died in the fire, but her dog is okay. No one else was hurt in the fire.

Everett's landlord tells NewsChannel12 the home was destroyed and will be torn down. Everett doesn't know where she will live now.

"I really don't know, but trying to get my life back together," Everett said.

For now, she only has the clothes on her back. Everett is staying in a hotel until Tuesday, thanks to help from the American Red Cross.


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