Rowan County A co-owner of an archery and taxidermy company in China Grove was killed Friday after an explosion and fire at the business.
Friends and family on Saturday identified the victim as 46-year-old Sonya Graham, who, along with her twin sister, Sie, operated S&S Graham Archery on North Main Street.
The Graham sisters were among five employees and customers in the building Friday evening.
Sonya Graham had gone into a bathroom as part of prep work for mounting a boar when the explosion occurred, said David Nance, a store employee. He said others inside the building tried to rescue her but couldnt.
The fire was reported about 9:30 p.m. Friday, and it took emergency crews about 45 minutes to extinguish the blaze.
Authorities hadnt released a cause for the fire early Saturday evening, though emergency crews at the scene said it appeared there had been a chemical explosion in the taxidermy area of the building, WCNC-TV reported.
I still cant grasp what happened, Nance said from the Graham home on Saturday. He said the Graham sisters, who had no children, considered him their son and he looked up to Sonya like a mother.
The sisters opened their business in 1989. Sonya was the backbone to the company, Nance said, keeping things running and never taking a day off.
She always worked, Nance said. Thats all she cared about was working and pleasing people.
On Saturday, people from across the archery community were sharing memories of Sonya online and offering their condolences.
Nance said the fire was hitting the family hard, especially Sie. The twins were constant companions, he said.
They done everything together. Thats what made them whole, both of them together.
NewsChannel 36 contributed