Two young boys and a close-knit community are trying to come to terms with the loss of a local woman. Dessie Davis died over the weekend in the house fire that also killed two family pets. Her sons were not home at the time.
Detectives say the fire started in the center of Davis' home in the 300 block of Willow Street in Mayfield. Graves County Coroner Phillip McClain pronounced her dead at the scene. The State Fire Marshal was at the home Monday trying to determine what caused the tragedy.
The fire chief in Mayfield said he thinks Davis was trying to make her way out of the house early Saturday morning, but the smoke and the flames were too powerful. It's hard to tell on the outside that the home was the scene of a deadly fire, but inside they found mostly ash and burned belongings. Turns out, it's what detectives didn't find that may have made a difference.
Treasures from inside the home are reduced to a growing pile of trash. A young boy's bike on the front porch stood in defiance of the destruction, but the steady bark of a family pet shows even it knows something terrible happened. "I actually cried. I did, because it's a real shame. She was a good woman," said Timothy Anderson. He lived next door to Davis for three years and said the real tragedy has nothing to do with the things that were lost. "She left two children behind. It's a real shame. She's gonna be missed," he said.
A police officer on patrol was the first person to notice smoke Saturday morning. Fire Chief Randy Henson said that's because there wasn't a working smoke alarm in the house. It's something they give away at the fire department. "It could have made a large difference in this," said Henson.
Thanks to a grant program for people who live inside the City of Mayfield, firefighters said they install about one fire and smoke alarm every week. Henson said, "It could have possibly gotten her up just that much quicker to where she could have got out." It's a first alert that can give families a second chance, while Davis' family and friends honor and remember her life. It was taken too soon. "I wish well for the family. Sorry it happened," said Anderson.
Henson said there's a surprisingly large number of homes in Mayfield that don't have smoke detectors. Some can be purchased for less than $10, but most departments do have a program to give them away for free. It's always a good idea to read the directions that come with smoke detectors to find out how often to replace the batteries and the alarm itself.
There is a family-approved fund set up to help replace what the boys lost in the fire. That's at Signet Federal Credit Union in Mayfield under the name Nicholas Davis.
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