ROCK HILL, S.C. -- Fire destroyed an elderly couple's house while they were on vacation Tuesday, andinvestigators are trying to figure out how it started.

It's a total loss, said Rock Hill Fire Department Captain Rusty Myers. Debris was all that remained of the home, which included charred furniture and books.

A sign in front of the house on Pinewood Road in Rock Hill said For Sale. Investigatorstold NewsChannel 36 thatthe elderly couple was transitioning to another house, but were still living in the home and the house had a lot ofthings still in it.

Investigators said the couple was on vacation and were unaware their house burned. They got a hold of relatives who were told to try and break the news gently, because of the elderly man's health problems.

Sifting through the debris and looking for clues, Myers said it appeared the fire started in the kitchen and dining area.

A passerby saw the smoke around 4 a.m. Tuesday morning and called 911.

When they responded, the fire was already burning through the roof, Myers said.

It spread through the house quickly. Now, it's an estimated $145,000 loss.

The cause has not been determined, but it does not appear to be suspicious. Myers did not think 4th of July fireworks caused it either.

Myers said the answer will come from putting the burn patterns and debris together like a puzzle.

Looking at how the fire burned, where it burned, what burned, the rooms that burned and the contents of that and trying to come up with a hypothesis of what actually took place, Myers explained.

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