One dead after early morning fire in Camden County

Camden, County, NC -Tommy Russell looks at the burned out Camden County house that used to be home to his friend, 46-year-old Keith Dowdy.

County officials will only say one person inside died after flames broke out around 4 am.

Friends say it was Dowdy who was killed.

“I was supposed to come back here today for some more training, but I just wanted to see for myself,” said Russell.

The two were training for the AAA National Arm Wrestling championships in Buffalo, New York.

Dowdy was well-known across the arm wrestling circuit in North Carolina, while working at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, but his life came to an end in the middle of Hurricane Arthur.

“The wind fueled the fire. They were out here with three fire engines, two volunteer trucks showed up at some point,” said Ray Rollman, who lives down the street on NC Highway South 343.

Firefighters battled for two hours to stop the flames, and no one really knows how they started in the first place.

“I did not hear any lightning to believe it was anywhere close,” said Rollman.

Just down the road, Hurricane Arthur’s winds took down power poles, but in front of the fire-ravaged home, there are no power poles around that would have caused any sparks.

Investigators hope to figure out the cause of the fire while friends mourn the loss of a man they say died too soon.

“He put himself in front of everybody. He was a real good guy, a real good guy,” said Russell.

5 comments

  • Justin Stanley

    I was a coworker on Keith Dowdy. I just wanted to put a correction he worked at BAE Norfolk ship repair. He will be missed by all of us in the sheet metal shop there. Wonderful guy truly sad he’s gone.

  • Cole Bon

    Keith was a dear dear friend of mine, and I am still having a hard time accepting what has happened. He put so many others before himself. Both myself and justin Stanley, along with the rest of BAE Systems will greatly miss this wonderful man.

  • beloved neighbor

    Mr Keith was truly a great neighbor, he will truly be missed. He was the kind of guy that would give you the shirt off his back. God has truly gained a great angel.

  • Joe Podgurski

    Keith Dowdy had an awesome sense of humor and great personality i worked with him at BAE Systems in norfolk va he will be missed by many…..

  • David hartsock

    From the family of jeremy hartsock friend and co worker. Our hearts go out to the family and friends of keith. I only know of keith through my son. He sounded like a wounderful man, son, friend and neighbor. May god be with you all. Have solace that keith is now doing gods work as he begins a new journey high above the clouds where he will sore as high as gods heavens go. I share your grief and sorrow as in november 10, 2012 our son in law and 3 young grandbabbies also perished in an awful house fire. I thought our world was over. It still hard but with each day god has graced us with wounderful memories as in time god will bless you with those same memories.as you grieve you are all blessed. Our families prayers are with you .we have asked god to please help all understand this awful tragedy and move forward a little more each day. May god bless and guide us all in this terrible loss. May your day ahead be blessed a day at a time. Our love and prayers for you all. The hartsock family.

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