Deadly house fire claims 3 lives in Hinesville

HINESVILLE, GA (WTOC) - An investigation is underway into a deadly house fire that claimed the lives of three people in Hinesville.

Emergency crews from four different agencies responded to the fire around 9:30 p.m. Thursday night at a home in the 300 block of Gause Street. According to the Hinesville Fire Department, the fire was 80-percent involved when fire crews arrived. They say firefighters attempted to make entry, but due to the amount of fire and lack of structural integrity, they were unable to enter the home.

It took firefighters roughly two hours to get the fire under control and gain entry to the home. Upon entering, they discovered three victims, all deceased.

The Coastal News Service is reporting that the Liberty County Coroner has identified the victims of Thursday night's fire as 82-year-old Rosa Pearl Strickland, 68-year-old Carl Edward Strickland, and 62-year-old Annie Lorene Grigsby.

A neighbor and a few people claiming to be family members of the victims spoke to WTOC at the scene and said three elderly people live in the home. However, officials say they are not releasing the identity of the victims at this time. Another neighbor says the fire was so big that when she stepped outside, she thought it was her home that was on fire.

'I heard something pop. I said, 'is somebody shooting,' and then I went on down my steps and I walked out in the yard and looked at the back and saw something orange and said 'Oh God, my house is on fire," Annie Jones said. "It was up in the trees. I've never seen a fire so high. It was up in the trees and the house was just gulfed. It didn't take any time for it to burn. No time.

Fire crews remained on scene into the morning hours Friday monitoring hotspots. The scene has since cleared.

"It was sad. It was real, real sad," Jones said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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