Employee, 21, Found Dead After QVC Distribution Center Catches Fire: 'A Great Person'

Kevon Ricks, 21, was found dead on Sunday after a fire ripped through a QVC distribution center in North Carolina

Kevon Ricks
Photo: Facebook

The body of a 21-year-old man was found inside of a loading dock at a QVC distribution center this weekend after a fire tore through the facility in North Carolina.

According to Edgecombe County Sheriff's Office, the body of Kevon Ricks was recovered on Sunday morning after a fire erupted inside the warehouse just after 2 a.m. on Saturday. Ricks, father to a 1-year-old son, was found on the "outbound side of the loading dock" of the building, located near Rocky Mount in Edgecombe County.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Mr. Ricks as well as all team members affected by this tragedy," the sheriff's office said in a statement.

Stephanie Randolph, Rick's godmother, told ABC station WTVD that loved ones had not heard from Ricks since 1:15 on Saturday morning, about 45 minutes before the fire began. She arrived at the scene to tell authorities there was at least one person still missing.

"I've been crying all day. I'm not hurt for just myself, not just for his mother, not just for his son. I'm hurt for my son. I'm hurt for people who know he's a humble guy," she told the news station. "He's a great person."

Edgecombe County Manager Eric Evans said it's believed Ricks died of smoke inhalation since the fire did not spread to the part of the building where he was found.

"Fire had not actually touched that section of the building," Evans said, as noted by the Associated Press. "An autopsy has not been done, but they are assuming it may have been through smoke inhalation."

QVC fire
Tom Copeland/AP/Shutterstock

WTVD reporter Tim Pulliam shared a photograph of Ricks on Twitter, which showed him holding his young son on his lap while wearing matching tan and red outfits.

QVC — which did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment — said the company was "heartbroken" in a tweet on Monday morning.

"Everyone at QVC is heartbroken to learn of the tragic loss of life in the fire at our Rocky Mount facility," the company said. "Thanks to the first responders--and to all of you for your outpouring of concern."

Gov. Roy Cooper also commented on the tragedy in a post to social media on Sunday.

"I'm saddened by the loss of life during the QVC Distribution Center fire in Rocky Mount," Cooper wrote on Twitter. "I've been in contact with local and state officials about that tragedy and taking steps to help families hurt by the loss of more than 2000 jobs."

According to The News & Observer, more than 300 employees were at the distribution center at the time of the fire, and close to 2,000 employees work at the site spread over three daily shifts.

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The Rocky Mount Fire Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

According to the AP, Evans told reporters that the "main section" of the warehouse had been destroyed. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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