‘I’m lost, I don’t know’ Community in disbelief after fire leaves three dead, one injured in Mcintosh Co.


SHELLMAN BLUFF, Ga. (WSAV)- We are learning more tonight about three members of one family who died in a fire in McIntosh County. Another family member was seriously injured.

It happened Thursday in Shellman Bluff, a small community of retirees.

“I’m lost…I don’t know,” said Dot Durden, a friend of the family.

Confusion and pain too severe to even put into words. Dot Durden is coming to terms with the thought of burying her friends

Vicki Hutchinson Gilder, her husband Tommy Gilder, and her aunt, Irma Jean Hutchinson better known as ‘pug’ in the community, were playing cards in a shed Thursday afternoon when a fire broke out.

Tommy Gilder and Pug Hutchinson died on the scene. Vicki Hutchinson Gilder died three days later.

“I am sure I will get through it with God’s grace,” said Durden. “You know, we’ve got to think about Vicki’s nephew and Tommy’s nephew and Pug’s son,” said Durden

Charles Hutchinson, Irma Hutchinson’s only son is still recovering at the Shands Burn Center in Gainesville.

All of them, members of the Shellman Bluff Baptist Church. A vigil was held in their honor on Friday.

“You could tell at that time how they fit into the community because the church was full,” said Faye Mixon. “It was people that were not necessarily members of the church or go to church or whatever, it was people that knew them in this community.”

Mixon said she and Pug were inseparable, every Sunday they sat together in this back pew.

“It was just unbelievable, literally unbelievable that this would happen to them,” said Mixon. “They were a fun family and they were close.”

Mixon, like other community members, hopes time will heal their pain.

“We loved you here on earth and we love you where you are now,” said Johnny Durden. “We know you are better there than what you would have to go through if you were still here.”

Funeral services will be held for all three victims early Wednesday at Shellman Bluff Baptist Church. At this time the community is asking for thoughts and prayers.

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