Authorities have not yet identified the three bodies found in the rubble of the split-level home on Spriggs Trail Road in the Yellow Creek area, but they are believed to be the residents, two adults and their 19-year-old daughter.
The blaze left only ashes of the split-level home behind, which was roped off from the public Wednesday afternoon.
Firefighters arrived on the scene at about 3:35 a.m. Wednesday, finding the home had already collapsed and was engulfed in flames, said Lt. Jay Baker, spokesman for the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office.
“Neighbors reported hearing an explosion and immediately called 911,” said Tim Cavender, spokesman for Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services.
Baker said the home belongs to Ricky Norrell, 49, and his wife, Darlene Norrell, 46, who lived at the home with their 19-year-old daughter, Lindsey.
“At this time investigators are unable to definitively conclude that the bodies are that of the Norrells, however no one has had any contact with them today and it appears likely that in fact it is them,” Baker said.
Shirley Briggs, a relative of the family who lives nearby, said the Norrells were a nice family that always seemed close.
“It’s devastating to everybody,” Briggs said. “(Darlene Norrell’s) mother and daddy are just at a loss. They just don’t know what they are going to do.”
Briggs said she and other neighbors and family members are cooking meals for Norrell’s parents, who are also neighbors. None of the other family members gathered at Briggs’ home were willing to speak with the Tribune.
Both the sheriff’s office and fire services investigators remain on the scene, Baker said, and the cause of the fire has not yet been determined.
The cause of death is also undetermined, as the bodies have been sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime laboratory, Sheriff Roger Garrison said.
Autopsy results can typically take up to a week, Garrison said.
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