Cause of fatal fire still under investigation; first responders leave mementos at memorial

Kill Devil Hills police Sgt. Rodney Rawls, leaves a memento at the fire scene. [Town of Kill Devil Hills photo]

Kill Devil Hills fire officials are still investigating the cause of the Sunday morning blaze that claimed the lives of Ann Rachell Horton, 39, and her son, Sebastian Lopez.

The town officially released the victims’ names Monday as a makeshift memorial popped up at the scene, and a GoFundMe for the family of Horton, known on the beach as Ravann Rachell’e, and her 9-year-old son, climbed to over $22,000.

The town also released photos showing firefighters battling the blaze, which erupted about 4:25 a.m. in the 200 block of Pine Grove Trail. Two other families in the three-unit building got out safely but Horton and her son Sebi did not. Authorities on Monday said the two were found in a bedroom, not an attic as originally reported at the scene.

Firefighters on the scene of Sunday’s fatal blaze. [Town of Kill Devil Hills photo]
Another town photo shows Kill Devil Hill police Sergeant Rodney Rawls (one of the responding police officers) leaving a memento on behalf of the police department. 

“The Kill Devil Hills’ community is mourning the loss of two of our neighbors,” the town said in a statement. “While the investigation as to the cause of the fire is still underway, we ask that the victim’s family and friends be granted respect and privacy during this difficult and sensitive time.”

Dare County school officials are coordinating counselors and school psychologists for any families who need help in the aftermath of the fire. Sebi was a third-grader at Nags Head Elementary School.

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Kari Pugh is digital director for OBXToday.com, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, 94.5 WCMS and Classic Rock 92.3. Reach her at [email protected]