Carter County Sheriff Chris Mathes said a fire originated in the stove area of a house at 1427 Riverview Drive around 9 a.m. Sunday. He said passers-by and members of the neighboring Valley Forge Free Will Baptist Church noticed smoke coming from the house, called 911 and helped rescue two of the people who were trapped inside. Mathes said one woman, identified as Tracy Parsons, 52, died in the fire.
The church members were identified by Mathes as Bobby James, Jay Kyte, Jeff Underwood and Clark Verran.
Members of the Watauga Volunteer Fire Department, Carter County Emergency Medical Services and Carter County Sheriff’s Department assisted at the scene after 9 a.m. and worked to extinguish the fire.
Agents from the state fire marshal’s investigation office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms helped the sheriff’s department with the investigation, which is ongoing.