Fatal mobile home fire under investigation in Evans County

CLAXTON, GA (WTOC) - Investigators combed through ashes Monday inside an Evans County home to figure out the source of a deadly fire over the weekend.

You can't see much damage outside of the mobile home on Church Street. Fire crews say they had it extinguished in a minute or two after they got there, but by then, the damage was already done.

An investigator from the state fire marshal's office circled around the home looking for how the fire started. Evans County Fire Chief Andy Sikes says they got the call around 8:30 Friday night. He says the fire seemed to start in the back bedroom where they found a female victim dead. They'll need an autopsy to confirm the identity. Relatives of 78-year-old Johnnie Mae Kennedy say she lived there and was home shortly before the fire. Crews found two smoke detectors that weren't working and say they could have saved her life.

"It goes off as soon as the smoke hits the detector. It wakes you up so you can get yourself and everybody else in the house up and out to a safe place.

Sikes says they've found so signs of foul play in the fire or the woman's death so far in the investigation. He says a lit cigarette may have started it, but the exact cause remains under investigation.

Chief Sikes says Evans County Fire and Claxton Fire periodically distribute free smoke detectors. Anyone who needs one can call them for details.

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