Memphis couple dies in early morning fire

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A Memphis family was in mourning Saturday after a couple died in a massive house fire.

The fire burned as Marshall and Earline Maple, both 63, slept in their Parkway Terrace home.

They were unable to make it out in time, but their two sons who were also inside did survive.

"I'm just trying to take it in as good as I can," said Piper Maple, the couple's granddaughter.

The home held fond memories of Piper Maple's childhood.

"I remember when I was younger I used to ride my bike around the house and the kitchen," said Maple.  "My grandmother, she was very sweet."

Piper also recalled her grandfather's sense of humor.

"He'd call me Pepper," said Maple.

Lorre Harris, the couple's former daughter-in-law, said the couple was very thoughtful.

"Call her up and say, 'I've got this picture and I'm putting it together and I'm giving it to you'," said Harris.  "They were loving and kind."

Piper watched firefighters sift through her grandparent's burnt belongings, saving what they could.

This is the family's second tragedy in less than a year.

"I just didn't know what to think," said Piper.  "My dad just recently passed away, so it's kind of devastating to me."

Other family members live right across the street and watched the blaze, knowing the couple was inside.  They said the hardest part was spending Saturday morning wondering what happened.

They do know the fire started just before 3:30 Saturday morning.  It took more than an hour for firefighters to get it under control and more than two hours to knock it out.

"I'm going to just miss them," Piper said.

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