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Fire victim's daughter remembers her mother

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Photo: Amy Maxwell Photo: Amy Maxwell
HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: The daughter of a woman who died in a Hixson house fire over the weekend is sharing her loss and grief over the tragedy. 
 
Dallas Bay Volunteer Fire Chief, Markus Fritts lives just down the street from the home, he saw thick heavy black smoke coming from the home early Saturday and ran inside to help. Officials say he found the victim trapped inside of her bedroom and he helped her get to safety but she later died of her injuries at a nearby hospital. Family members say they are heartbroken. 

"When I left her there which I'm not making myself feel guilty it's just reality, I left her in a burning room and that's why I can't go there," said daughter Angie Wilson. 

Angie Wilson woke up to black smoke and ran to her mother's room.
 
"I heard her yell fire, fire,help and so I ran back to her door and it  was kinda cracked and I so pushed it more," said Wilson. 

The smoke was too thick. 65-year-old Jenay Benns, a mother and grandmother of 4, didn't make it. 

"She loved people, she was caring peace on earth with love. She was kinda I guess a peace child and no judgment,  kind of free," said Wilson. 

Wilson says she will remember her mother as a free spirit, now free from pain. Benns suffered from severe illness, still they never thought it would end like this. 

The Wilsons are staying at a hotel for now, Angie's husband is recovering from major surgery.

This is the 3rd time the house has caught fire in 10 years. First a lightning strike then a bad AC unit, this time the cause is unknown. Angie suspects her mother fell asleep with a cigarette near her oxygen tank.

She wants others to have a plan and be prepared.
 
"That's what  people need to realize it's just so quick, stuff can happen so quick especially if someone is ill," said Wilson. "You just don't think of it but please think of it, I don't want anyone to go through this."

Friends are raising money online to help the family with living expenses and funeral costs. Visitation for Jenay Benns will be Monday 4-7p.m. at the Vantage Funeral Home on McCallie Ave. A celebration of life ceremony will be held there on Tuesday at 2 p.m. 

The total damage is estimated to be about 20 thousand dollars, the exact cause of the blaze is still being investigated by the Hamilton County Sheriffs Dept. Officials say that's standard procedure anytime an injury or death is involved. 


PREVIOUS STORY: A fire chief at from a a local volunteer fire department saved a woman from her burning home, Saturday morning. 

Dallas Bay Volunteer Fire Chief, Markus Fritts, who lives a few houses down the street from the woman, was driving by and saw heavy black smoke coming from the woman's home. 

At 10 a.m., Fritts immediately called dispatch reporting a house fire at 1500 North Winer Drive in the High Ridge Subdivision. Chief Fritts an Hamilton County Sheriff's Office personnel who were the first units on the scene, extricated the burn victim from her bedroom. Fritts reported the female was in her bedroom surrounded by heavy smoke and fire. 

Dallas Bay VFD arrived on scene and extinguished the fire in the bedroom. Family members tell Channel 3, the 69-year-old woman succumbed to her injuries at Erlanger Medical Center. 

Officials are reporting $20,000 in damages. Chief Fritts reported the fire started n the bedroom, but cause of the fire is undetermined and will be under investigation by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office

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