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House fire kills elderly couple in St. Francis County

MADISON, Ark. — An elderly couple is dead after a house fire in St. Francis County.

The fire started in the kitchen around 3 a.m. Wednesday morning and quickly spread through the house with Willie and Geraldine Odum trapped inside.

"It just started and got out of control real quick. It's just real sad," neighbor Cordero Riley said.

First responders rescued the 88-year-old man through a bedroom window, but couldn't save his 79-year-old wife who was in a different part of the house.

The fire crew couldn't locate her in the home due to heavy smoke and flames.

Willie Odum died in the hospital this evening.

As you can imagine, family members are just devastated.

They spent the evening going through the house trying to salvage what they could, but there wasn't much left.

His grandson, Brandon Odum, is still in shock.

"She was just a typical, you know, grandmother. She made sure I was at school everyday. She was big on education and was always making sure I was studying and things like that," Odum said.

State police are currently investigating the cause.

"All we're trying to do is just see what's left, what. We're getting a first hand look at everything," Odum said.