CULLMAN COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — UPDATE 7/14: A second victim has been pronounced dead following a house fire in Cullman. The Cullman County Coroner confirms that Angela Hardin has died. Hardin is the daughter of the first victim, Odell Bice.
It’s a difficult day for one Cullman County family, as they deal with the loss of a beloved family member in a fire in the early morning hours of Tuesday.
Odell Bice died from injuries she received after her home went up in flames. Three other family members were at home at the time, said her nephew, Darrell Leipert.
“She was in bad shape. she had been sick. That’s why there were others in the house with her, helping to take care of her,” Leipert said.
He describes his aunt as a loving, kind woman, an aunt who welcomed in her nieces and nephews, following his own father’s death.
“She was a very fun-loving Christian woman. loved her family” said Leipert.
It’s too early in the investigation to say exactly what caused the fire, but State Fire Marshall Scott Pilgreen says investigators don’t believe there was any foul play. They believe it was an accidental fire, probably electrical.
However, Pilgreen says this year has seen no dip in tragic fires like this one.
“Unfortunately, it’s been just about on par. We had just about 115 this year,” Pilgreen said. “This is an official count right now, but I believe with the one last night, we’re right about 54.”
The family of Odell Bice is not only mourning her loss, they’re also praying for the recovery of her daughter, who was badly injured in the fire. She is at UAB now, the family says, with serious burns.
“Right now, we’re just asking for prayer,” Leipert said.