‘That’s God’: Pastor thankful after escaping fire that destroyed his house

A local pastor says he believes God woke him during a fire that destroyed his home in Gaston County.

Pastor Ray Goodman of the Good News Tabernacle Church in Bessemer City says he and his family barely escaped from the fire that destroyed his house on Lunsford Drive on Saturday. But the frightening experience has renewed his faith.

“You call it what you want, but that’s God,” Goodman said.

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Goodman says he woke up to the smell of smoke early Saturday morning and thought his son had burned food.

When he stepped outside of his bedroom, the only thing he could see was smoke.

He says a closet on the other side of the house was engulfed in flames.

“It was like a fireplace. It was just consuming that side of the house,” he said.

His son and infant grandson were the only other people in the house, and they were asleep in a room that shares a wall with that closet.

“Just on the other side of that wall was an inferno,” he said.

Goodman woke up his son and grandson. He says the smoke was so thick that they barely made it to the front door where they discovered the screen door was locked and the handle had melted.

“I had to physically tackle the door down,” he said.

The family was able to escape.

“Probably the closest to being passed out me and my son’s ever been. I mean literally last breath,” he said.

The pastor says investigators told him the fire started from an electrical problem.

Goodman says his family was living in the home on a rent-to-own basis and they had just made their last payment last month. He says the house is not fit to live in now.

On Saturday, his church is holding a fundraiser to help the family build a new home.

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