UPDATE: Elderly woman dies in house fire in Cleveland - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Elderly woman dies in house fire in Cleveland

Posted: Updated:
CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB) -

A 72-year old woman died in a house fire early Friday in Cleveland. 

The Cleveland Fire Department and the Cleveland Police Department responded to 905 Sunset Avenue in reference to smoke coming from a residence.

Officials say there was no visible fire from the front exterior of the residence, but when firefighters examined the back of the house, smoke was seeping out of a window.

"The house was structured well. It had some storm windows on it, which kind of stopped them from staining black," said Cleveland Fire Marshal, Ben Atchley.

Neighbor, Martha Hoisington, said she saw the same thing, but said she didn't panic, because she thought everything was fine. 

"There were three police cars over there and two fire trucks," said Hoisington. "I assumed...the fire trucks [got there] in time to put the fire out. I didn't see any flames."

Atchley said the homeowner's daughter, who lives next door, said she didn't know of anything going on until she saw firefighters. That's when she let them inside her mother's home. A short time later, firefighters found her mother's body on the bedroom floor. 

Investigators believe a cigarette sparked the flame. 

"We pretty much think it was a smoking material that was on the bed and maybe at some point in time a cigarette rolled out of the ashtray came in contact with the bedding material and ignited," said Atchley. "I'm imagining she smelled something and was tracking it down and then was overcome by the fumes when she discovered the fire in the bedroom."

Atchley said a fire with few flames is unusual. Despite what the characteristics of a fire may be, he said everyone should always take precaution and be prepared. 

Often times a fire will grow. It'll melt or break a window and the fire product will exit outside so it's very visible," said Atchley. "Anytime that you are in a fire, and you're in a smoky condition we ask you to stay low and exit the building, do not ever go back into the building." 

Firefighters also urge everyone to have an escape plan and working smoke detectors.

WEEKLY CIRCULARS
Powered by Frankly