DADEVILLE, AL (WSFA) - It was a busy weekend for Dadeville volunteer firefighters and a terribly sad one for two families. The first fatal house fire was Saturday morning on Highway 280. Sue Kelley Segrest, 65, tried but never made it out after her home caught fire.
It appears lightning struck a nearby pine tree and then her small home. The lightning strike was part of a broader severe weather system that produced 41 tornadoes and killed nearly 20 people throughout the southeast.
"She was found in the back bedroom laying in the middle of the floor," said Dadeville Volunteer Fire Chief Anthony Keith. "There was a lot of furniture and stuff stored in the house that made it hard to get through the house."
The second fatal fire happened Sunday night on Highway 49 North. It wasn't immediately clear what started that fire.
Kenneth Crabb remembered his dad Homer Crabb as a good father, humble and quiet. The elder Crabb spent more than 30 years working for the textile industry, according to the family. He was 74-years-old.
"He was like in the hall trying to crawl to the back window to get out," said the victim's son. "He would do anything for you... humble man. This is still unreal."
Kenneth Crabb says his dad lived in his home for 50 years.
Mayor Wayne Smith can't recall Dadeville ever having back-to-back fatal house fires. He credits the firefighters for doing all they could to save both lives.
"We'll bond together and we'll lift the families up," the mayor said. "We'll continue and move on."
Two Dadeville residents are gone, two families are in mourning, as is the city where they lived.