Victims in fatal house fire identified
Authorities have identified a mother and daughter killed Monday morning in a Sandy house fire apparently started by a cigarette.
Sandy police Sgt. Troy Arnold said the victims were 54-year-old Teree Lazzelle and her 90-year-old mother, Geneva Lazzelle. Both women were found around 10:30 a.m. inside a white brick rambler-style home near 9400 South and Gene Drive. (590 East).
Sandy police Sgt. Justin Chapman said Teree Lazzelle died in the blaze, while her mother was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Neighbor Dennis Maughn said the woman lived with her two daughters in the home for more than 20 years.
"They're just nice people, quiet people," he said.
The younger woman has had health troubles, and her ex-husband was acting as a caregiver for her and her mother while the other daughter was at work, said Arnold.
"He's a wonderful man to take care of them the way he does," said neighbor Bernice Ferre.
When he arrived at the home and opened the door, smoke billowed out and he called 911, Arnold said. One woman was found on the second floor and the other on the first floor.
Dennis Maughn's wife, Sharon Maughn, said they did not see anything suspicious before police and fire crews arrived.
"We saw nothing; we saw no smoke," she said.
She said the 54-year-old woman had limited mobility.
"She's been very, very ill for a long time," Sharon Maughn said. "She wouldn't have been able to get herself out."
The Sandy Fire Department is investigating how the fire started, but Arnold said it appeared to have been sparked by a cigarette. Damage to the house was estimated at $100,000.