A family is grieving after a woman and her teenage granddaughter died in a house fire in Cherokee County.
Just off North Grace Huddlen Road in the Hulbert area, the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office said 15-year-old and her grandmother, Sharon Walters, died in a fire.
Investigators said they are not sure how the fire started, but the Hulbert Fire Chief said he believes it started on the side of the house where the living room was.
"We're a small community. We've got some of our employees who knew these people, some who were related to them,” Cherokee County Sheriff Jason Chennault said.
Chennault said the fire happened early Wednesday morning, just after midnight.
"Since it was so late at night, there weren't many people up to witness this,” Chennault said.
The Hulbert Fire Chief said someone drove by and saw the flames, so they called 911.
Several fire departments and deputies responded and found the woman and teen inside.
The Hulbert police and fire departments responded with the Spring Valley Fire Department.
Chennault said while his office is investigating the fire as a homicide, that does not mean anyone was murdered.
"In a situation like this, we have two deaths that we can't explain away. So, our standard procedure would be to start investigating it as a homicide. And that doesn't mean that we think that's what happened, but until we know different that's all we can do,” Chennault said.
One of the 15-year-old’s former teachers, along with some family friends, are working to help collect donations for the family.
The former teacher, who did not want to be named, said donations can be made to the Reese family through PayPal with this email account: email@example.com
The medical examiner will determine the exact cause of the two deaths. The state fire marshal's office is working to figure out what caused the fire.
Donations to help with Sharon’s expenses can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The arrangements are being handled by two different family members.