RICHLANDS, NC (WNCT) – The Onslow County Sheriff’s Office said a kitchen stove appears to be the cause of a house fire that killed two sisters on Saturday near Jacksonville.
Investigators said at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, the Onslow County 911 Emergency Operations Center received a call from someone who said they saw smoke coming from a home on Thomas Loop Road, located in the Richlands community on Hwy. 24, just north of Jacksonville.
OCSO deputies responded to the scene, and found an unresponsive woman, 63-year-old Phyllis Diane Moore, outside the home. As deputies helped EMS crews give first aid to Moore, they learned her sister was still inside the home.
Rhodestown Volunteer Fire Department crews entered the home and found 63-year-old Katherine Moore, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
Phyllis Moore was taken by ambulance to Onslow Memorial Hospital, where she later died from her injuries.
Autopsies were performed on both victims on Monday, and the preliminary result for both victims was death by suffocation from smoke. The final report for the autopsies is pending toxicology.
Onslow County Emergency Management investigators determined the fire was accidental and started on the kitchen stove.
Along with OCSO deputies and Onslow County EMS, several volunteer fire departments responded to extinguish the fire, including: Rhodestown VFD, Richlands VFD, Back Swamp VFD, Half Moon VFD, and Southwest VFD.