GREENSBORO, N.C. — A Greensboro community is broken after two beloved neighbors died in a house fire Sunday night.
The Greensboro Fire Department confirms the fire was at a house on Elmwood Terrace. The department says Hughlene and Bill Frank were inside when the fire started.
"I don’t even know how to express it, the horror," says Mary Carlan Eubanks. "I’ve never seen a house fire."
Eubanks says she's lived down the road from the Frank family for more than three decades and is devastated by the loss.
Neighbors say Hughlene and Bill were active in the community. WFMY News 2 found reports that both were philanthropists and involved with Appalachian State University, Guilford College and the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Greensboro.
"You can take one look at their landscape and know that they cared for beauty," she says. "Everything in their house was beauty. They were welcoming people. My children still send Christmas cards to them and they’ve been gone for years."
The couple was beloved by many. One neighbor next door even tried to save the couple as their home burned, but the fire was too strong.
Friend of the family, John Graham says, their passing is a big loss to the Greensboro community.
"They supported everything from the museum to historic preservation, to art," he said, "Of course, Hughlene has a legacy with Appalachian State University. I don’t think we’ve even begun to think about what a big blank we now have without them here. I just can’t believe just with the blink of an eye that we won’t see either one of them again."
Deputy Chief Jim Robinson says 53 firefighters and 13 trucks were on scene putting out the fire. Crews were still at the home Monday trying to figure out what caused the blaze.
At this point, investigators do not know the cause of the fire, but do not suspect foul play.