Detectives stop short of calling Bledsoe fire 'suspicious'
BLEDSOE COUNTY, TN. (WRCB) -- Officials are investigating a deadly fire Bledsoe County where a body was found inside a trailer home hours after the blaze. Family members says it's 63-year-old, Hazel Reece.
The Sheriff's office stops short of calling the fire suspicious, but investigators do say it's strange that it wasn't reported for hours.
They found the back of Hazel Reece's SUV packed with her belongings. Court records show she recently filed an order of protection against her husband.
"She never meet a stranger," says her son, Bron Reece. "She always gave things away that she bought for the people she loved."
Reece is still reeling in pain and shock over the death of his mother.
"A friend of mine came to repair something," he says. "He called to make sure this was the place where they live. I said 'yes', and he told me the house was flat on the ground."
That's when a repair company called for help at 422 Reece Road. Bron Reece says when he heard his mother's car was parked outside, he knew.
"They found her inside," he says.
Monday, Iinvestigators with the Bledsoe County Sheriff's Office and the State Bomb and Arson Division investigated the scene. They found the back of Reece's SUV packed full, as if she'd planned to go somewhere.
"I'm not sure," Bron Reece says. "She had been away, and she'd come back. I'm not sure that she had unpacked yet."
Bledsoe County Investigators say Reece also told family members she was thinking about going to a shelter. Bron Reece says his mother and father had recently separated, and his father had moved out.
For now authorities say they're investigating her death as fire related. Channel 3 has learned that Hazel Reece recently filed an order of protection against her husband.
"I can't think of a soul in this world that would want to hurt her," says her son.
The sudden death has left her Bron Reece in anguish. He says what he'll remember most about his mother is her love.
I'll always remember how loving she was, and how you couldn't stay mad at her long," he says.
The state Medical Examiner's Office has not positively identified the body. According to the District Attorney's Office, Hazel Reece filed domestic assault charges against her husband in June.
The case was bound over to Grand Jury and she was scheduled to testify Monday.
Investigators believe the fire started sometime Sunday night or early Monday morning.