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House fire kills woman, three others injured in Dade County Thursday morning

(Image: Georgia Dept. of Insurance)
(Image: Georgia Dept. of Insurance)
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Just after 10:30 a.m. the Georgia Department of Insurance released the identity of the victim: 26-year-old Brandy Hester.

Hester was a mother of two young children.

Her family has set up a fund to contribute to her funeral expenses.

Send contributions to the Citizens Bank of Valley Head, PO Box 147, Valley Head, AL 35989.

The house, located at 571 S. US Hwy, 11 Rising Fawn, was destroyed.

“Because of extensive damage to the home, my fire investigator was unable to determine the exact cause, Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens said.” “He found nothing suspicious about the origin of this tragic fire and believes that unattended cooking potential may have started the blaze."

Hester's death is the 70th fire fatality in Georgia this year.

Family member Sarah Hester says she got a phone call from her family in the middle of the night.

"They were hysterical. I had to ask them ten times what they were saying."

Lacy Hester lived in the house but was not home at the time the fire started.

"My stepson went back in and tried going back upstairs for Brandy. He realized he wasn't going to make it so he jumped out of the window," Lacy Hester said.

Lacy's husband helped build the house. She says he desperately tried to rescue his family.

"Him and my stepson woke the babies up and pretty much threw them out into the front yard."

Sarah grew up in the house.

"I think most of them are still in shock. My dad is kind of's his home. We built this house out of a trailer."

Brandy was Sarah's former sister-in-law.

"She was a good mom, she's going to be missed a lot," Sarah said. "I've known her my whole life."

Lacy said, "She was pretty much always in a good mood."

One dog Puddin' survived the fire.

"They haven't grasped it yet," Sarah said.

Sarah was sorting through burnt pictures, some of the only things the family has left. She says they did not have home insurance.

"They need everything...clothes, diapers for the baby, everything."

Donations can be dropped off at 529 US Hwy. 11 in Rising Fawn, or you can reach Sarah at (256) 516-0529.

Depend on us to keep you posted.


The Dade County Sheriff's Department says one woman was killed and three others injured at a home in Dade County on Highway 11 near the Alabama-Georgia state line early Thursday morning.

The scene that the fire broke out at 1:30 a.m. Sheriff Ray Cross says the victim was a mother, and three of her family members tried to go back into the home to save her. She has not yet been identified.

Firefighters are working to contain the fire, and tell us the woman's body hasn't yet been recovered as of 6 a.m.

An ambulance rushed two other people to the hospital, and a third person drove themselves to the hospital to be checked out. We're told their injuries are not life-threatening.

Sheriff Cross says investigators believe the fire may have started in the kitchen. But they haven't yet determined an official cause. He says a total of six people were inside the home at the time the fire broke out.

Authorities are not giving out the exact address of the fire, pending family notification.

It's the first fire fatality of 2017 in Dade County. Sheriff Cross tells us it's rare for a deadly fire to occur in the summertime.

Depend on us to bring you more details as we get them.

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