A house fire that began overnight Sunday in the Dunns area of Mercer County took two lives, according to the State Fire Marshal’s Office.
Devastation struck Akers Street after the two people were found dead inside their home. Sherry Humphrey, a woman who was briefly at the scene, said it was her parents Raymond and Carrol Pedigo who died in the fire.
Humphrey told 59News the two were in their late 80’s and had been married for about 70 years. An investigator on scene with the State Fire Marshal’s Office said the bodies were sent to a medical examiner’s office in Charleston for autopsy.
Several fire departments responded, including the Ghent Volunteer Fire Department.
“Fires like this aren’t new to us,” Rick Morrison, Ghent fire chief, said. “But being remote and in the area of Mercer County that this one was, it makes it a little bit difficult because of accessibility and availability of fire hydrants, which there were none. And it made it tougher.”
Volunteer firefighters with the Ghent Volunteer Fire Department found the bodies of the victims around sunrise. Morrison said he is bringing in a pastor to help bring comfort to his crew.
“Some people, I’m sure, have never experienced that before,” Morrison said. “And it can be a traumatic thing, so we want to do all we can to help them get through it, get past it and help them move on.”
What exactly caused the fire is undetermined right now. Regardless, Morrison advised everyone to heat their homes in a responsible way this winter.
“Space heaters, if you choose to use them in your home, be extremely cautious,” Morrison said. “If you use a fire place, please have your chimney serviced and cleaned by a reputable professional.”
The incident remains under investigation as the State Fire Marshal’s Office awaits the evidence from the autopsies.
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