Elderly couple dies in Cairo structure fire
GRADY COUNTY, Ga. (WCTV) - An elderly couple in Cairo tragically dies following a structure fire early Monday morning.
According to the Cairo/Grady County Fire Marshal, Stephen McKinnon, the call came in around 2:30 am; however, an exact address was not provided to first responders immediately. In a statement, McKinnon says by the time firefighters received the address and arrived on the scene, the structure had already begun to collapse as a result of the fire.
“After 10-15 minutes, it was told to us by a bystander that there could be two victims inside,” said McKinnon, at which point he continued to say officials put their focus on controlling the fire near the bedroom to preserve life.
Once the fire was contained and through further investigation, it was later determined that the couple had been sleeping in the living room area of the home, and that’s where the fire is believed to have started.
“The fire appears to be an accident with the most likely cause being electrical, but other possible sources of ignition were present,” McKinnon said.
Several neighbors in the Copeland Avenue area say they’re still in disbelief, recalling the final moments with the couple just a few days before the incident.
“I spoke with Mr. Nate. He was coming down Copeland. I spoke with him, and I saw Ms. Barry as well, and I spoke with her. So, it’s kind of crazy. You see them today, and then the next couple of hours, you hear about something bad,” said Fredrick Washington.
Washington and his mother, Betty Smith, both shared that the victims were kind and well-known to the community. They also said one of the victims, the older woman, was in a wheelchair.
“They were just sweet people, and I miss them,” said Smith.
Officials say other agencies who assisted include the Cairo Police Department and that the Georgia fire marshal was also notified of the fatalities.
“Cairo Fire Department expresses their deepest condolences to the families affected,” said McKinnon.
Copyright 2022 WCTV. All rights reserved.