The Smyrna Fire Department was called about a house fire at 2:11 a.m. Monday and, responding four minutes later, found the back of the one-story brick house located at 905 Pine Hill Drive near Bank Street fully engulfed in flames, said Fire Chief Jason Lanyon.
A search team found a woman, Mary Ann Pierce, and her two dogs dead in her bedroom from smoke inhalation.
Pierce, who was born in 1954, lived alone, said Lanyon, who was uncertain whether she had smoke detectors in her home.
Smyrna Mayor Max Bacon said he knew Pierce from his days of working for the postal service. Bacon's younger sister, Jenny Ruth Williams, was a close friend to Pierce, and called Bacon Monday in tears, he said.
"Anytime there's a loss of life it's terrible," Bacon said. "Just that she was by herself with her dogs, that makes it even more emotional. It's just tragic. She had a lot of good years left. It's like a little piece of Smyrna that we lost."
Lanyon said while the cause of the fire has yet to be determined, there appears to be nothing suspicious to have caused it.