Family, friends remember boys killed in Easley blaze

The Greenville NewsJuly 22, 2013 

— Family and friends remember Timothy and Devon Graham as two boys who enjoyed life, one described as “a great kid” who liked to ride his bike and the other as a “clown” who loved to sing to his grandmother.

“I just feel like my heart’s been jerked out,” said Shirley Varnadore, grandmother to the boys whom she said called her Mimi.

Timothy Lee Graham, 7, and Devon Dewayne Graham, 4, died in connection with an early morning fire that destroyed their Dacusville home Sunday at 145 Daisy Drive, Easley, according to authorities and Pickens County Coroner Kandy Kelley.

Kelley said autopsies were done Monday and “there were no surprises.” She said the causes of death are pending results from the autopsies, which could come back in six to eight weeks.

According to the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, which was investigating the fire Monday, preliminary findings indicate that the fire was accidental and is believed to have started in the kitchen near the stove.

The Sheriff’s Office said a mother and her three children were the only occupants inside the home at the time of the incident. It was called in to 911 by a neighbor.

“Statements from the mother prior to her being transported to the hospital revealed that she was preparing to cook on the stove with grease when the fire started,” a release from the Sheriff’s Office said.

“Sheriff’s detectives were unable to determine whether the home was equipped with smoke detectors due to the damage sustained from the fire.”

The mother and her 2-year-old son were taken to the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, Ga. The Sheriff’s Office release said they were being treated for injuries sustained from the fire, but the office couldn’t comment further as to the condition or extent of their injuries.

Dacusville Fire Chief Charles Hamilton said the Dacusville Fire Department responded to the fire after receiving the call around 4:30 a.m. Sunday.

Timothy would have been a second-grader at Dacusville Elementary this coming year, and Devon would have started 4K at the school, said John Eby, spokesman with the School District of Pickens County.

The boys “will be deeply missed, and our fullest sympathy is with the Graham family,” Eby said.

Dacusville Elementary Principal Michael Fleming said in a statement that those at the school knew Devon from coming in and out with his mother. “He was very energetic,” Fleming said.

He said Timmy “was just a great kid” and was “funny and very devoted to his teacher.”

Varnadore said the boys were excited about school starting.

“Timothy loves watching movies, spending time with me, playing, … getting out riding his bike. He enjoys life,” she said.

“Devon was a clown. Devon was a little stubborn one. He loved for Mimi to play with him and tickle him. … He loved singing to me,” Varnadore said.

She said the family went to church together. The boys’ mother is “a friendly person,” Varnadore said. “She loved being with her children and her family.

“I’m still in shock. I saw them on Saturday and then yesterday (Sunday) I was told that they were gone ... It’s hard to comprehend.”

April Scott, the boys’ aunt, said the boys hung out with her two sons.

Timothy and Devon were “always happy” and “always had a smile on their faces,” she said.

Staff Writer Eric Connor contributed to this report.

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