PASQUOTANK COUNTY, N.C. (WAVY) – A retired Navy veteran died after an explosion in his garage Saturday.
Pasquotank County Sheriff Randy Cartwright said crews were dispatched to the 100 block of Quaker Drive around 8:40 a.m. for an explosion and fire.
Deputies learned that T.C. Oneyear was carrying a candle into his garage, where there was apparently a buildup of gas. When he opened the garage door, there was a large explosion that knocked him back.
Officials say the explosion lifted the roof of the home, blew the doors off the garage, broke windows in the back of the home and melted siding off parts of the home.
Oneyear was pronounced deceased on scene. The State Bureau of Investigation arson investigator will be assisting with the investigation for this incident.
Oneyear’s wife was at home at the time of the incident. No other injuries were reported.
10 On Your Side spoke to Oneyear’s friends who said he was a positive influence on veterans in Elizabeth City.
“I’m going to miss him. He was a guy I used to see all the tim. He was a permanent part of my life,” said local veteran, Roy Giarrusso.
VFW Department of North Carolina Commander Greg Stafford. said, “It was a total shock to everybody in the community because T.C. wasn’t only a part of this VFW post, he was a part of the community.”
Stafford says Oneyear joined the Navy in 1962, where he was an outstanding Command Master Chief. His friends say they hope they can continue the legacy Oneyear left behind.
“I would say he’s the type of person I strive to be. I would like to help as many people as he did and I hope I can,” added Giarrusso.