Firefighters on scene in the 6700 block of Goodwin Street, where a house fire displaced three residents and killed three pets.
"They're doing an outstanding job", said Rutkowski. "The last 20 years of my life are gone".
Pleasanton and Kearney volunteer fire departments then were called for mutual aid. A house on Booker T. Washington Highway, north of Rocky Mount, had been converted into apartments and Ledbetter lived in one.
Crews worked to put out hot spots once the fire was out.
Two firefighters climbed into the basket of a ladder truck from the Dwight Fire Protection District.
"Most of the fire was located under the stairwell so it compromised the stairs - it burnt the stairs out".
Two cats and a dog died inside the smoke-filled residence. Camanche Fire and the Clinton Police Department also assisted.
Investigators determined that the fire was accidental and caused by an electrical malfunction at the house's meter base. "I think just the movement of the tree made it go", Brown said.