A South Carolina deacon, his wife and two of their young children died in a tragic fire that ripped through their family home Tuesday morning.
Scott Kelly, 42, a deacon at Trinity Baptist Church in Cayce, along with his wife Mandy, 34, their son Judah, 10 months; and daughter Lizzie, 9, all died in the early morning blaze that erupted at their Lexington County home, according to WISTV. The couple's oldest children, Bekah and Jared, survived along with their grandmother who is currently being treated for burns.
"Early this morning, we suffered the loss of a deacon, women's ministry leader and Sunday school teachers. Scott and Mandy Kelly along with two of their children passed in a house fire. Two of their children survived along with Scott's mother who was air-lifted to the burn center in Augusta. Please be in prayer for this family," Trinity Baptist announced on its Facebook page Tuesday.
While the cause of the fire is still being investigated, WISTV reported that firefighters were called to the scene just after 1 a.m. Tuesday. Lexington County spokesperson Harrison Cahill said when crews arrived "it was a pretty fully-involved fire" that completely destroyed the home.
Senior Pastor Eddie Coakley of Trinity Baptist Church, who is now serving as the family spokesperson, said they were asking for privacy during their grief but remembered the couple and their departed children as people who loved God.
"The Kellys were an amazing family that loved God wholeheartedly," Coakley said. "They chose to live life sharing the love of Jesus with everyone. Their extended family is asking for prayers for the two children who survived and that their privacy be respected at this time."
Mandy's friend, Rikki Travis, 36, told The State that she watched the news of the fire on television and was devastated.
"That's when I broke down and physically cried," Travis said. "I was hoping it was a misprint and it wasn't true. Once I went back and looked at the house and looked through the pictures – that's Mandy's house."