By Clint Parker
Barnardsville – An early morning fire Friday (June 7th) destroyed the house at 665 Dillingham Road in Barnardsville is the same house where Bobby Ray Pegg, II was murdered on March 23rd, 2017 and the Assistant Buncombe County Fire Marshal is calling the fire “suspicious.”
Assistant Buncombe County Fire Marshal Kevin Tipton told The Tribune that the fire had been ruled “suspicious” and that he’d asked for additional help from the Asheville-Buncombe County Arson Task Force. Tipton stressed that this was an isolated incident and believes that the community has nothing to fear from other arson incidents arising from this one.
Barnardsville Fire Department was the initial department that took the call and Battalion Chief Phillip Kuykendall was incident commander at the fire. He said the fire department responded to the call at about 4:30 am Friday. “It was a fully involved structure fire. All occupants were out when we got there,” Kuykendall said. “[It was a] total loss…it was on the ground.”
Kuykendall estimates that about 24 firefighters worked the fire from his department as well as Jupiter, Mars Hill, Woodfin, French Broad, Weaverville and Reems Creek Fire Departments. The last unit cleared the scene about 8:50 am. As the rain continued to cover the ruins of the home around 9:30 am, smoke could still be seen coming off the destroyed structure. There was only one person, a man, living in the home at the time of the fire and escaped unharmed, according to Kuykendall.
Buncombe County Sheriff’s detectives eventually arrested Timothy Robert Gallion of Christy Lane in Barnardsville who was charged with first-degree murder of Pegg. Back in 2017, within just hours of Pegg’s murder, a small convenience store at 456 Dillingham Road, less than a mile from 665 Dillingham, also burned. Fire investigators called it arson and Timothy Gallion was also charged with the arson when he was arrested for Pegg’s murder. The house at 665 Dillingham Road, according to Buncombe County GIS, is owned by Adrian Gallion (Timothy Gallion’s brother) and was a one-story home with approximately 1,050 square feet of living space.
Gallion is still in jail awaiting trial for the 2017 murder along with the second-degree arson. An August 14th court date has been set for the trial for communicating threats and a September 16th court date for the murder of Pegg, according to Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department records.
Tipton asks that anyone with information about the fire should call 828-250-6620 or Crimestoppers at 828-255-5050.
Editor’s Note: A story by Benjamin Cohn aided in this report.