Sgt. Flowers, a native of Raeford, N.C., was a mortuary affairs specialist with the 54th Quartermaster Company. He joined the Army in 2006 and has been stationed at Fort Lee ever since.
Spc. Pauletta Flowers, the wife of Sgt. Flowers and mother of Kourtney, was not in the residence during the fire. She is assigned to the 530th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion at Fort Lee.
Investigators from Fort Lee Fire and Emergency Services, the Colonial Heights Fire Department and the Army Criminal Investigation Division determined that the fire began in the first-floor kitchen of the duplex unit on Belleau Wood Road in the Madison Park subdivision. Fort Lee Fire Chief Tom Bahr cited unattended cooking involving the use of an open frying pan and cooking oil as the cause of the fire.
The cause and manner of death for both individuals remains under investigation by Army CID, which is responsible for investigating all deaths on post.
Fort Lee Fire and Emergency Services dispatchers received the emergency call at 2:50 a.m. Monday and the department’s first responders arrived on scene at 2:57 a.m. The fire was contained shortly thereafter. The Hopewell Fire Department also responded to the scene.
A neighbor in the adjoining unit of the duplex made the initial 911 call after the fire began to spread to their unit, activating their smoke detectors. The fire caused some damage to their unit, but no injuries.