The Tennessee state fire marshal has been called-in to investigate a fatal house fire near Etowah this morning.
It's a tragedy that has shaken this close-knit community.
The fire spread quickly in the two bed-room house about 5 miles south of Etowah.
Smoke awoke Sandy Jackson around 9:30 am, and she ran to alert her sister Monica, but ran into heavy flames.
Sandy narrowly escaped. Monica Jackson didn't.
Their cousin Ernest Simpson , who lives nearby, saw smoke and quickly drove to the scene.
ERNEST SIMPSON, COUSIN "It was already engulfed in flames when the main fire trucks and all got here." "They tried to kick the door in..but the fire just blew them back out."
SHERIFF JOE GUY, MCMINN COUNTY "It's very tragic...because of a very close-knit community...in that area there on 796...our hearts go out to family and friends.
After alerting her 36 year old sister, Sandy escaped unharmed.
ERNEST SIMPSON "She said, Monica the house is burning, let's get out of here..you know..she knocked on her door, opened the door and the flames in her room just pushed her back."
Relatives and friends told us that Sandy and Monica lived in the two story home...with Monica's daughter and granddaughter, who were not there when the fire broke out.
ERNEST SIMPSON "She was trying to get out..Monica was, but they found her right by the back door..by the door, she couldn't get out."
State fire marshals arrived at mid-day.
SHERIFF JOE GUY "The state will have the final ruling on it..but our officers will support them..work with them."
At this point, authorities indicated they don't suspect foul play