House Fire Kills Retired School Teacher & Son

A Saturday afternoon house fire in North Tyler has taken the lives of a woman and her nineteen year-old son. The Tyler Fire Department says the fire started behind the house at 525 Vance street, in an add-on section.

54 year old Veida Theus died in the blaze. Her son, 19 year-old Torrence Theus was taken to a hospital, where he passed away Sunday morning. Theus was retired after teaching for Tyler ISD for many years. She had also run a daycare center from her house until recently.

Investigators say evidence shows the pair apparently tried to fight the house fire, and were overcome.

"The lady of the house was near a rear exit," says Inspector James Suggs of the Tyler Fire Department, "but you could tell from her injuries that see had tried to fight the fire. It was so advanced by the time we got here, we got the call from neighbors, and not from the residents."

The body have been sent to Dallas for autopsy. There was no immediate word on what could have caused the fire.

Reid Kerr ( reporting.