DAGGETT Julio Sauceda sifted through the charred remains Tuesday that had once been the Daggett home of Clayton Nash and his mother, Margie, doing his best to clean up.

A dozen or so cats meandered through what was left of the house, as Sauceda pulled items from the wreckage. Clayton Nash was like a brother to him, he said. Margie Nash was a second mother.

"They were real good people," he said, adding that he had only known them for a year. "(Clayton) would always smile when I walked in. That boy just loved me."

Clayton Nash, 50, and Margie Nash, 88, were killed when a fire consumed their home on the 35000 block of South Street in Daggett at about 5:35 a.m. Sunday. The victims, who were both disabled, were unable to evacuate their home. According to Laura Nash, Margie Nash's granddaughter and Clayton Nash's niece, her uncle was quadriplegic and had limited mobility. Margie Nash was in the early stages of dementia, she said.

An official cause of the fire has yet to be determined, but Laura Nash and her family believes its origins may have been electrical. A circuit breaker on a box outside of the home had blown and a neighbor reported that they had seen a broken wire prior to the start of the fire, she said.

Margie Nash lived at her Daggett home since 1967 and was known for her love of antiques, Laura Nash said. Margie and Clayton Nash tacked up license plates from locales as far away as Kuwait on the fence posts surrounding their property and a west-facing wall displays a huge collection of hubcaps.

"The majority of them is what she and my uncle had found in the desert or in the yard," Laura Nash said, adding that Margie Nash would also feed the neighborhood cats. "The house is like the center of Daggett. Everyone loved them."

Joe Morris, chief of the Daggett Fire Department, which responded to the fire, said he knew Margie Nash and coached Clayton Nash and his younger brother in Little League. At one time Morris had once lived next door to them, he said.

"They had their ups and downs but when they were involved with Little League they enjoyed it and had a good time," he said. "Their mama always kept an eye on them."

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department's arson team is still investigating the fire. Firefighters believe the blaze started at the southwest side of the structure.

Contact the writer:
(760) 256-4123 or jcejnar@desertdispatch.com