Couple Dies in Cabarrus, North Carolina House Fire

CONCORD, N.C. (AP) -- Fire killed a Cabarrus County couple as they slept in their two bedroom home and authorities said the cause was being investigated.

Fire officials couldn't confirm identities of the victims, but family members said they were Charles Wayne Lunsford, 67, and his wife, Susie Smith Lunsford, 63. They were asleep when the fire began shortly before 6:40 a.m. Monday.

The couple's daughter-in-law, Lisa Lunsford, 36, said she and her two daughters saw the flames from their home.

``I was running through their yard and calling their names,'' she said. ``When we got up there I realized then that they weren't outside their house.''

Some 30 to 40 firefighters from six departments converged on the house after a driver passing by called 911.

Steven Langer of the county fire marshal's office said the last death involving a house fire in unincorporated parts of Cabarrus County was two years ago.

``You just never think something like this is going to happen,'' Darrel Lunsford, 37, said as he stood outside what remained of his parents' home. ``This was my mama's old home.''

Darrel Lunsford said his parents both retired from Pillowtex Corp., and his mother had battled breast cancer since 1999.

``I know Mama's health was getting worse and now her suffering is over,'' he said. ``It's good that they went together like that and it's Valentine's Day, too.''