(WMC-TV) - Items not destroyed by a house fire that killed a Lakeland man were stolen less than 24 hours after the blaze, family members said Thursday.
As Augusta Brewer struggled with the death of her 100-year-old brother, George Farris, she wondered why someone would want to steal items from his home just hours after it went up in flames.
"I can't imagine how a person could do anything like that behind a tragedy like this," she said Thursday.
Brewer first arrived at the scene Wednesday morning, after firefighters found the elderly man lying dead on the floor beside his bed.
Farris had been left alone.
"He had a son that lived with him," she said. "It's just the time of the month his son would go away and be gone for three or four days."
After fire crews cleared the scene, Brewer said, someone came to Farris' home and stole two heaters, two air-conditioning units and several other items.
"A brand new cook stove and a $700 refrigerator, and his eating table and a wrought iron door," she said.
As investigators try to determine what sparked the blaze, Brewer is hoping that whoever is responsible will be caught or come forward.
"I just hope they'll have a heart, but I know they're not going to bring stuff back," she said.
If you have information about the theft, call the Shelby County Sheriff's Office.