Early Morning House Fire Kills Two, Neighbors Attempt Rescue


Steve Montgomery says the events of early Thursday morning are etched in his memory.

"We busted the back window where Mr. And Mrs. Scudder were and there wasn't anything we could do at that point. It was too far gone," said Montgomery.

At 6:15 a.m., Jackson County Sheriff David Lucas received a call that a house just two doors down from his, located at 3213 Hooper, was on fire.

Lucas then alerted his neighbor and the two went around the back of the house and tried to free the elderly couple from their bedroom window.

Due to heavy smoke and intense flames, Guy Wilson Scudder and Francis Scudder weren't able to escape.

"I'm still in shock," said Lucas "I've known the family about 38 years. I grew up in a house just across the street here and I stayed over at this house numerous times."

Fire investigators still don't know what caused the fire. They say it could be months before anyone knows for sure.

"We feel like there's no cause to speculate that there was any foul play," said Diaz Assistant Fire Chief, Brent Lassiter. "It was either electrical or caused by the storm that came through at the time."

For people in this San Mateo community, they say trying to save their neighbors lives is just what they think anyone else would do.

"We got to be pretty good friends and sometimes when there's nothing you can do that's worse," said Montgomery.

Investigators say they don't know if there were smoke detectors inside the home at the time of the fire.

Questions or Comments? E-mail me at rsmith@kait8.com