The remains of three women were recovered from a burned out house near Orchard in Fort Bend County.
Arson investigators blocked off the home to try and pinpoint a cause.
Heavy equipment will be brought in to move out large pieces of debris so investigators can begin to sift through what is left of the house.
"It’s a laborious process," said Ft. Bend County Spokesman Bob Haenel. "It’s laborious when you consider the amount of debris and water associated with putting out a fire.”
It took multiple fire departments several hours to bring the fire under control on Johnson Road Thursday afternoon. Investigators quickly recovered two of the bodies, but it took longer to find the third because of the amount of water and damage.
Officials said the victims were ages 55, 80 and 90.
Water proved to be a main challenge for firefighters. There were no hydrants in the rural location, so fire crews had to bring in tanker trucks filled with water to battle the blaze.
On Thursday night, the Pilgrim Journey Baptist Church held a prayer service in memory of the three women. The three women's family all attended the church in Richmond. Two were of the women were considered "founding mothers" of the church.
“Although it's a sad day for us, there's nothing better for us to do than to come together and share together the loss as a church family," said Rev. Robert Simpson.
He identified the three victims as Dorothy Carrington, Goldie Wells and Joyce Carrington.
Rev. Simpson said Dorothy Carrington got her three nieces and nephews out of the burning house and then went back inside to rescue her mother and aunt, who were both confined to wheelchairs.
"We got word that she actually went back in to help her mother and her aunt get out, and that is when she never came out as well," Rev. Simpson said.
"We just thank God for the time and the season that they were in our lives,” said relative Dorothy Kirk. “We mourn their passing, but we know that God does not make any mistakes and He is who He is. And He does what He wants to do when He wants to do them. We loved them, but he loved them more."
The family knows tragedy well.
Teketria Buggs, 12, lived at that same house when she disappeared in 2005. Her stepfather, Steve Carrington, later confessed to killing her and Carrington's cousin, Corey Brooks in 1999.