Three people were found dead inside a house that was on fire early Tuesday morning.
A 911 call was placed around 2 a.m. to report the fire on Edgefield Highway, according to an Aiken County Sheriff's Office spokesperson.
Fire crews from Eureka, Graniteville, and Aiken County along with officers with the Aiken Department of Public Safety responded to the scene.
While fighting the fire, crews discovered three bodies inside the two-story home.
Family members have identified the three victims in this case as Helen Williams, her daughter Diane Warren, and Kelvin Warren. The Aiken County Corner confirmed their identities Tuesday and said autopsies determined they died from thermal injury and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Williams, who celebrated her 89th birthday last month, used a wheelchair to get around, according to family friends. Diane was a beloved school teacher with a 40-year career teaching in Aiken, Allendale, and Augusta.
"She loved math, she could teach anybody math, and she had a passion for children being the best that they could be," said Gwen Johnson, a family friend..
Family members and friends spent much of the day outside the crime scene tape, circling the house and comforting each other. Friends tell us the family was very active in their community and their church. Johnson heard about the fire and rushed to the house, hoping for a different outcome.
"I said, 'Lord please let nobody be hurt, and have left us.' I begged the Lord, and he is supreme," said Johnson.
Johnson says this family is relying on their faith to get them though this.
Investigators say they're using every tool to search for the cause of the fire. ATF and SLED agents searched through the debris left behind by the fire, even using a dog to sniff for evidence.
"I'm sure that the investigators and coroner will do their job, and will let the family know what they found out," said Johnson. "Right now, that's not high on the priority list. What's high is supporting this family right now, because they are wonderful."
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