A stove fire is responsible for the Friday predawn Pavo blaze that took the lives of an elderly woman and her son.
A state fire marshal returned to the fire scene Monday morning to continue the investigation into the blaze in which Loette Rogers, 94, and her son, Wynton Ladd Rogers, 69, died.
“He was able to narrow it down to a stove fire. Something was being cooked,” said Chris Jones, Thomas County Fire/Rescue chief. “The point of origin and the cause was a stove fire.”
A neighbor entered the 4070 N. Main St. Rogers residence about 1:40 a.m. Friday and found Loette Rogers in a wheelchair near the front door. The neighbor removed the woman from the burning house and took her away from the heat.
The woman was dead, and it was learned her son was in the house. His body was found later Friday in a bedroom.
Mr. Rogers’ daughter, Bonnie Rogers, who also lived at the residence, was not at home at the time of the fire. She is staying with Pavo relatives, Jones said.
Authorities said Friday the fire was believed to be accidental, possibly beginning in the kitchen area of the one-story, brick-veneer structure.
The rubble was too hot Friday to make a determination of the origin or cause of the fire.
Jones said 75 percent of structure fires in the United States are cooking-related. “It’s a very high percentage,” the chief said.
Jones said the Rogers house was built in 1927 and had been in the family close to 90 years.
“Unfortunately, in this case, it was a fatal cooking fire,” he said.
Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820.