UPDATE: Investigators say Fatal house fire result of unattended stove

UPDATE: Investigators say Fatal house fire result of unattended stove
Deadly fire in Appling 3/2/18 (WFXG)

APPLING, GA (WFXG) - New information on what started the fire that ended up killing an elderly couple at their home Friday night in Columbia County.
According to Investigators, it was accidental and began in the kitchen.

"It's hard to believe that everything was fine yesterday at this time and now complete destruction and devastation," says Francesca Davis.

As the family members of Robert and Mavis Malone are salvaging whatever precious items are left after last night's fire, this small knit community on Cottonwood drive is still in shock and disbelief.

"It's just heartbreaking. That's just an awful way for the situation to turn out," says a neighbor, Francesca Davis.

According to investigators, 78-year-old Robert Malone and his wife 75-year-old Mavis Malone were trapped inside of the house fire that started from the stove being unattended. For Davis & her family who live across the street, all they're left with is the fond memories. "We've never had any problems, anything we've ever encountered them they were nice and polite," she says.

Memories that date back all the way to the 1970's.

"I think it was before I was born but my family would have barbeques with them and my older sisters would ride the bus with their older children," says Davis.

The Malone family didn't wish to speak on camera but the influence of two gentle souls won't be forgotten anytime soon. " It's just so devastating for our little community here in cottonwood and it's just heartbreaking."

Fire Crews are using this as a reminder to always make sure you pay attention to what's happening in the kitchen. According to officials this marks 21 deaths from a house fires in Georgia this year.

Engines from several Columbia County fire companies are on the scene of a fire on the 6900 block of Cottonwood Drive in Appling.

An official at the scene tells FOX 54 two people, an older couple, died in the fire.

According to Janeabeth Wells with Columbia County, the fire is still active.

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