Matt Miller, half of the popular Swansboro music duo Wild Honey, lost his home to fire on Saturday morning.
Miller said he and a friend, Mark Richard, were in the home at 563 Bear Creek Road at the time. He said he was just getting started on Saturday morning when the smoke alarm went off.
“I’d gotten up and was making some coffee when the alarm went off,” he said.
He went downstairs to the laundry room to investigate and saw a pile of burning clothes. After getting Richard, he said the two went back to the source of the fire in hopes of extinguishing it.
“We messed with it for about one minute,” Miller said. Thick black smoke and waist-high flames drove them out of the house. “It took off so fast.”
On the way, they were able to retrieve a few musical instruments – some of which were hand-made by Richard – but otherwise, most of the home’s contents were a total loss.
In addition to his music gear, Miller, a songwriter, said he lost computers on which he stored files of his recordings.
The fire hit at a time when Miller, who is retired from the cell phone industry, was about to embark on a road trip to visit family and friends. In fact, Richard was staying with Miller to help trim out the interior of the van he was going to be driving.
Miller and Angie Cooper, the other half of the Wild Honey duo, had announced the upcoming trip and the duo’s separation a few weeks ago.
“I guess that’s on hold,” Miller said Tuesday afternoon after meeting with the insurance adjuster. “I hope I still can take that trip.”
Through it all though, Miller has maintained a positive attitude. “It’ll be OK,” he said. “We made it through.”
And, he added, he learned just what friends are made of.
“I want to emphasize how helpful everyone has been,” he said.
Chris Hunt, chief of the Bear Creek Fire Department said the call to Miller’s home came in about 8 a.m.
“When we arrived, there were smoke and flames showing,” he said.
Firefighters from four departments battled the blaze, finishing up in about 1-1/2 hours.
Hunt called the structure about a 75 percent loss.
Officials are still trying to determine the source of the fire.
“Our guess right now is it’s probably electrical,” Hunt said. “We’re still investigating that.”
A Matt Miller Fire Fund has been set up at gofundme.com.
Email Jimmy Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org.