Two die in Cana fire

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The Wards Gap Road home was destroyed.



UPDATED DEC. 12, 12:25 P.M.


CANA — Emergency workers recovered two bodies from a Saturday morning house fire on Wards Gap Road.

The victims of the fire were identified Monday as Donald L. and Cathy Lynn McMillian of 8438 Wards Gap Road, according to Investigator Shannon Goad of the Carroll Sheriff's Office.

Another three residents of the home were out at the time, the investigator said. They were the McMillians' son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter.

The investigation into the cause of the fire at 8438 Wards Gap Road indicated it started around the family's wood burning stove. The fire was accidental.

It is believed that the McMillians were asleep at the time of the fire.

The bodies from the home were sent to the medical examiner's office in Roanoke for identification, Goad said. A DNA test was used to confirm the identities.

The cause of death had not been officially determined as of Monday.

Cana Fire Department and Cana Rescue Squad responded to a report of the structure fire at approximately 11:48 p.m. The mobile home sat on the mountain above where Wards Gap narrows from a paved road to gravel.

E-911 dispatch reported multiple calls reporting the blaze that was visible from Bear Trail Road in Cana and beyond.

Emergency officials called for assistance from Hillsville and Ararat fire departments and several agencies from Surry County, N.C.

Smoke filled the valley as neighbors came outside to see where the sirens and lights on the fire and rescue vehicles were headed.

The fire appeared to have been burning for some time before the calls came in to the E-911 dispatch center Saturday. The blaze had burned through most of the home before fire and rescue crews received word on the incident.