RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. - An
early morning fire claimed the life of an elderly woman and destroyed a home on
Rehobath Road in rural Rutherford County early Sunday morning.
"I don't know what to do;
I don't know what to say," explained Tina Mangrum as she walked around
what was left of the house her father built years ago.
Fire officials say flames took
over the home around 12:30 am on Sunday. Tina's brother and sister-in law made
it out, but her sister-in law's 69-year-old mother, Jane Marlan, couldn't
escape the intense heat and heavy smoke.
"He (my brother) called me
and told me that the house burned down and they lost Jane," Tina said
holding back tears.
Investigators still aren't sure
what started the fire. Tina says her brother has insurance and is hoping to
rebuild at some point, but it will probably be some time before he comes back.
"You don't realize you're
thirsty until the well is dry," said Mangrum. "You don't realize how important
your family is until they're gone."