Twin sister died in Rowan County explosion



ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. -  A Rowan County community is devastated after a deadly explosion at a well-known business.

On Saturday, family members confirmed that the victim in the fire was one of the owners, Sonya Graham, 46.

The fire started Friday night around 9:30 p.m. at S&S Graham Archery in China Grove.

The business, located on North Main Street, was owned and operated by Sonya and her twin sister Sie Graham.

Investigators said both of them were inside with three other people at the time of the explosion. They were using flammable chemicals for taxidermy work and somehow those chemicals ignited causing an explosion, authorities said.

Four of the people inside escaped, but the victim was trapped in a corner by the fire and ran into a bathroom for safety. Officers tried to rescue her, but it was too late.

"This community will never be the same. It will never be the same without her," said Scott Williams, a customer and friend of the family.

He said the Graham sisters were icons and role models to many young women in Rowan County. He said they excelled at a sport dominated by men. Many said they learned everything they knew about archery from their father and were continuing his legacy.

"They were very patient they spent multiple hours with us to make sure I'd get my shooting right," said Sloan Williams, who took archery lessons from the Grahams.

Investigators didn't know the exact cause of the fire Saturday afternoon. They said they were waiting for autopsy results to positively confirm the victim's identity. Among those who escaped, no one was seriously injured.

On the phone, Sie Graham was heartbroken.

She told Eyewitness News she did everything she could to put the fire out, but it didn't work.