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2 killed in Rawls Springs house fire identified

Long-time neighbor and friend Dawn Gillis said she remembers waking up to a loud noise on...
Long-time neighbor and friend Dawn Gillis said she remembers waking up to a loud noise on Thursday morning.(WDAM)
Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 1:47 PM CDT
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FORREST COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - James, 81, and Rita Stevison, 76, both passed away in an early-morning house fire, according to Forrest County Deputy Coroner Lisa Klem.

Long-time neighbor and friend Dawn Gillis said she remembers waking up to a loud noise on Thursday morning. When she and her husband looked outside, they saw large flames and sparks coming from their neighbor’s property.

Forrest County Fire Coordinator Chip Brown said Rawls Springs and North Forrest firefighters responded to the blaze on Archie Smith Road around 2:20 a.m.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the State Fire Marshal’s Office and the local fire investigators, Brown said.

“They were just lovely people. We talked about chickens and eggs and picked their blueberries and everything,” said Gillis. “It’s a disaster because they were just awesome people.”

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