Lifelong Brooks resident Bobby Ison, 72, and his wife Susie, 53, both died Friday morning, Dec. 5, when their Grant Road home burned in what investigators are calling an accidental electrical fire.
According to Division Chief Pete Nelms with Fayette County Department of Fire and Emergency Services, the blaze was reported by the Isons’ daughter, who also lived at the residence with her school-aged children, at 7:56 a.m. Nelms said the daughter had taken her children to school that morning and returned to find the home on fire.
Nelms said first responders were dispatched at 7:58 a.m. and arrived on the scene five minutes later.
“The first-arriving engine reported a 75-percent-involved house,” Nelms said.
The home, which is said to have been built perhaps in the 1970s, is estimated to have been between 1,200 and 1,500 square feet in size. Fire Marshal James Hall determined that the electrical fire igniting the blaze started in the attic.
Nelms said several fire engines and tankers were dispatched to fight the fire, and he said firefighters eventually gained entry, but the Isons were already deceased when they were found. Official reports also say five pet dogs were found dead in the home, though the Isons’ obituary, which can be found on Page 3 of this newspaper, names eight deceased pets.
Visitation for the Isons is scheduled for today, 5-8 p.m., at Connor-Westbury Funeral Home on West McIntosh Road in Griffin. The funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. tomorrow, also at the funeral home.
Those wishing to help with funeral expenses can arrange to do so through the funeral home by calling 770-227-2300. Donations for the surviving family may be made at any Wells Fargo Bank to the Bobby and Susie Ison Donation Account.
Update: Brooks Mayor Dan Langford shared these thoughts about Robert and Tommie Ison on his Facebook page:
Stunned beyond belief by this tragedy. Last time I was on that porch was in mid-June, when one of the boys carried me to Bobby’s to get my 1982 truck, which he had replaced the starter on. It was overcast as I waded through the dogs to get to the porch, where Bobby, Susie, her mother, and some grandchildren were sitting, to give him the check and retrieve the keys. While we were chatting, the bottom dropped out and it looked like the end of the world for a few minutes.
My most memorable rescue by Bobby was when I got the tractor stuck at the boggy end of a firebreak in the Summer of 2013 — he actually broke the cable on his tow truck trying to get me out, but then simply tied it to something on the back of his truck, ran it around a pine tree, and jerked the tractor (with me in its seat) out of the mud. Susie was with him that day, and she actually operated the truck while he stood between it and the tractor making sure everything was okay.
He was a schoolmate of my dad’s (a few years younger, but I don’t know how many), and was really a walking miracle — he nearly died several years ago from major heart trouble. Susie was a gentle soul who did some sitting with my grandmother Langford as she was becoming homebound in the late 1980s, before a permanent sitter was found about 1990.
They were salt-of-the-earth folks, and secure in their faith, so I have no concern about the destination of their souls, but I pray that death came silently, secretly, and painlessly, and that neither they nor their pets suffered. May God be with the family