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Updated: 2:28 p.m. Friday, April 27, 2012 | Posted: 11:44 a.m. Friday, April 27, 2012
STANLY COUNTY, N.C. —
Investigators are talking to a person of interest in connection with a fire that killed an elderly couple.
Family members said Thelma Britt and her husband Ernest Hopkins, both in their 70s, died in the flames.
Stanly County investigators think the fire was the work of an arsonist.
The victim's daughter-in-law discovered the fire.
“I was going to work and I saw the fire,” Teresa Hopkins said. “I couldn't get them out.”
She said the couple was always supportive of her.
“After my husband passed away, they treated me good,” Hopkins said.
When she saw flames pouring out of their home, she wanted to help them but she and other family members were too late.
The victims’ granddaughter, Konda Morton, said others in the area rushed over.
“Their son tried to get into the back door, but it was too hot so he couldn't open up the door,” Morton said.
Family members said the husband and wife, who were once separated, now lived together and owned the mobile home park.
The sheriff said the fire is suspicious, but would not say why. He said his detectives have questioned a person of interest.
Family members want to know why this happened.
“Everybody just wants to know what happened to them (and) how the fire started,” Morton said.
The sheriff said there is still a lot of investigative work to do to wrap up the case.
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