Cherokee County authorities say three bodies were recovered after a home burned to the ground early Wednesday morning. Authorities say neighbors heard an explosion at the home on Spriggs Trail in Ball Ground at around 3:45 a.m.
When Cherokee County firefighters arrived at the scene, nothing was left of the split-level home, according to Lt. Wesley Densmore of the Cherokee County Fire Department.
"I know from the reports we got from some of the neighbors who said they heard a loud explosion. They came out and discovered some of the flames coming out of the house and called 911. Not sure where it came from. Could have come from a couple of automobiles that were inside the garage," said Tim Cavendish of the Cherokee County Fire Department.
Once fire crews extinguished the flames, the bodies were recovered from the rubble.
Sheriff's deputies say the home belonged to 49-year-old Ricky Norell, his wife Darlene and their 19-year-old daughter Lindsey. Authorities say dental records were used to positively identify Darlene Norell as one of the victims on Monday, July 23. They say the identification of the other victims could take weeks.
"Obviously three people lived there and three people have been found in the home. No one's had any contact with them today so we're not...declaring it is them for sure but it appears it's going be," said Lt. Jay Baker of the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office.
Both firefighters and sheriff's deputies say that the cause of the fire remains under investigation. Crews returned to the scene on Wednesday to continue to search the debris for any evidence.