Cause of Kill Devil Hills fire still under investigation; fundraiser and memorial set up for victims

Published 3:05 pm Monday, May 18, 2020

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The Town of Kill Devil Hills has identified the victims from Sunday morning’s fire in Kill Devil Hills as Ann Rachell Horton, 39, and her son, Sebastian Lopez.

The Kill Devil Hills Fire Department responded to a report of a fully involved structure fire in the 200 block of Pine Grove Trail on May 17, 2020, at 4:25 a.m. Fire crews from Colington and Nags Head, along with the Kill Devil Hills Police Department and Dare County EMS were also on scene and assisted in the operation.

The fire was extinguished and there was extensive damage to the structure on both the first and second floors. Neighbor Mary Kennon, who lives directly across from the structure, said that the apartment complex had three units.

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Kennon says she was alerted to the fire by one of the building’s occupants around 4:30 a.m. and she said the occupant banged on doors of the other units in the building to alert residents of the fire. “It was so fast,” she said. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.


Members of the Kill Devil Hills Fire Department fighting Sunday morning’s fire. Courtesy Town of Kill Devil Hills

“They were beautiful people,” said Kennon said of the mother and son, “hearts of gold.” She also said Sebastian “was my grandson’s best friend.”

A GoFundMe account called “Support The Light and Love of Ravann and Sebi” has been set up to benefit the family.Sebi, a beautiful spirit, lover of all animals and creatures. Brilliantly smart, a clever sense of humor, and a beaming smile,” states the GoFundMe page. “His love of music he shared with his mother, Ravann, a caring, beautiful woman . . . such a giving and thoughtful person.”

Dare County Schools Superintendent John Farrelly sent an email to DCS families Monday morning, stating “. . . with a heavy heart that we announce the loss of one of our third-grade students and Nags Head Elementary School family members. Sebastian Lopez and his mother, Ravann Rachell, tragically passed away on Sunday morning in a house fire. This tragedy impacts our community deeply and the days ahead will prove to be very difficult as we deal with grieving the loss of school family members.”

Farrelly went on to say DCS is coordinating support for individuals or families with “guidance counselors and school psychologists as we navigate through this difficult time.” For assistance, contact Kelly Flora, director of elementary education, at “Please continue to keep this family in your thoughts and prayers,” stated Farrelly.

“The Kill Devil Hills’ community is mourning the loss of two of our neighbors,” stated a Monday afternoon statement from the Town of Kill Devil Hills. “While the investigation as to the cause of the fire is still underway, we ask that the victim’s family and friends be granted respect and privacy during this difficult and sensitive time.”



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