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A fireman at the scene of a fatal house fire in Falkville on Monday.
Daily photo by John Godbey
A fireman at the scene of a fatal house fire in Falkville on Monday.

Falkville woman dies in house fire

By Bayne Hughes
hughes@decaturdaily.com 340-2432

FALKVILLE — Four years ago, Mollie Chaney Davis was determined to get out of the nursing home and to the house she loved on U.S. 31. A three-month nursing home stay was enough time for her to regain her health and her independence.

The 86-year-old died Monday in an early morning fire that destroyed the house she loved so much.

Falkville Police Chief Christopher Free said the house next to the Disabled Veterans of America thrift store was fully involved when Falkville Volunteer Fire Department arrived at about 5:30 a.m.

Free said a traveler on the highway saw the flames and called 911. Hartselle Fire Department also responded.

"Late in the fire, we discovered that there was a victim," Free said.

Free said Mollie Chaney Davis was in the living room of the home built in 1921. A state fire marshal is investigating the cause, although firefighters were seen lugging a still smoking heater out of the house. The National Weather Service said temperatures were in the lower 20s at the time of the fire.

Bobby and Nancy Chaney rushed to the scene, only to find his aunt had died. Davis' only son, Jerry, an auditor for the Alabama Department of Revenue, arrived later from Pell City, but was too despondent to comment.

"She was just a good person," Nancy Chaney said. "A sweet elderly lady who loved her house."

Bobby Chaney lived in one of the three homes on the property when he was young. Both remembered that Davis, whose husband, Floyd, a retired Hartselle police officer who died in the 1980s, particularly loved working in her yard until her health no longer allowed her to do so.

She also kept a garden in the backyard.

"She was always mowing it, sometimes too often," Bobby Chaney said.

Nancy Chaney said Davis loved her four grandchildren and quilting.

Morgan County Coroner Russ Beard said there would be an autopsy. Peck Funeral Home is handling funeral arrangements.

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