Investigators in Burke County sifted through the remains of a home on Ed Bowman Road near Glen Alpine Monday morning, hoping to find out what started a fire that destroyed the place.
"It is a total loss," said Fire Marshal Mike Willis.
It was the second time in about eight hours that firefighters and investigators were at the home. Sometime before midnight Sunday, a fire broke out in the laundry room. Lint from a broken vent caught fire when a spark came from the dryer, said Willis.
Firefighters thought it was out when they left. Because power was cut to the home for safety, an 84-year-old woman and three others who were there left to stay at a motel with the help of the Red Cross.
Monday morning, they returned to find the house engulfed in flames. Officials are looking at the area around the dryer as a possible starting point for the second fire but have not been able to say for sure that one fire led to the second.
"We gotta look at everything," said Willis.
For now, the Red Cross and local aid agencies will continue helping the family.