Prescott House Fire

As you know, the Carolina coasts were hit by Hurricane Florence on September 14, 2018. The eye of the storm made landfall just north of Wilmington and shortly thereafter stalled dumping historic amounts of rainfall. While the damage in Wilmington was great, nobody expected the flooding that took place in Brunswick and Pender Counties. Pender County is home to Burgaw, NC. Burgaw is a small community where everybody knows everybody and you get a feel for the definition of a “county mile”.

Retired Police Officer Sgt. William Prescott was born in the town of Burgaw in 1948. He spent his entire life in Burgaw. After serving in the military, he began a 30 year career in law enforcement Wilmington, NC. It was there that he met his wife, Pat, and together they raised their son. Sgt. Prescott was a pillar of his community for 30 years. He tirelessly served his community touching the lives of many in the Wilmington area. After retiring, Sgt. Prescott and his wife moved to his childhood home in Burgaw.

As the hurricane was bearing down on the Carolina coast, the Prescotts were visiting their son in GA and watched the Weather Channel report on the flood waters threatening their home. Florence caused flooding Burgaw had never experienced.

On Tuesday September 18, the Cajun Navy and the Coast Guard began evacuations by boat of the residents on Stag Park Road. The waters were rising and there was no word as to when the rivers would crest. By Wednesday the water had overtaken the area and still was not stopping. The Prescotts knew their home would flood and all they could do was pray the extent of the damage would be minimal. On Friday, September 21, the unthinkable happened. The home caught fire and emergency services were unable to get to the home. Members of the community were in the area and were helpless, trying to use buckets of water to put out the flames. The fire burned the home all the way to the ground leaving nothing but the chimney and ash.

It has been a very difficult year for Bill and Pat. The difficulties began over Christmas when Bill was hospitalized for complications following a surgical procedure. After crashing twice, they finally stabilized him and he was able to be discharged after a week long stay. In January he was in a serious car accident that left him in ICU having blood removed from his brain. In March he was rushed back to the hospital to have more blood removed from his brain after a bleeder was discovered. Following months of treatment and rehabilitation, he fought back and was finally able to return to Burgaw. 

There is no way to amply explain the loss that has been experienced by this fire. Sgt. Prescott was born in the front room of the house and it was the only home he had ever known. The loss is great emotionally and in addition, all they have left are the possessions they packed for their trip to GA at the beginning of this month. Unfortunately, due to the home being over 100 years old, the home had knob and tube wiring. The cost to upgrade the electrical was great and they were not able to have it done at this time. Due to the knob and tube wiring, the home was not able to be insured.

Sgt. Prescott has been a fighter all of his life. He has fought for those who could not fight for themselves, he has fought for his community, and he has fought adversity every step of the way while maintaining the highest character. It’s time we fight for him in his time of need.

Many people have asked what they can do to help. The only answer we have been able to give is “I don’t know”. How do you know where to start? How do you put a dollar amount on the possessions and memories that were lost? They literally have to rebuild everything. Hopefully by setting up this fund we can ease the stress and pave the way to their new normal.

This fund is being set up to help the Prescotts rebuild and will be managed by their son and niece.
  • Wilmington Police Recreation Association 
    • $400 
    • 35 mos
  • Horace and Teresa Marshburn  
    • $100 
    • 36 mos
  • Kathy Cochran 
    • $95 
    • 36 mos
  • Kathy Cochran 
    • $5 
    • 36 mos
  • William Ratcliff 
    • $100 
    • 36 mos
See all

Fundraising team: Team Prescott (3)

Wesley Prescott 
Raised $720 from 7 donations
Wilmington, NC
Natalie Prescott 
Team member
Raised $275 from 4 donations
Julie Schultz 
Team member
Raised $20 from 1 donation
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