Durham, N.C. — A Durham woman who was trapped in an apartment blaze early Friday evening died Sunday night, family members said.
Karen Timberman, 49, was taken to the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center at UNC Health Care after the fire at Yester Oaks Apartments, 936 Morreene Road.
Timberman had been resting at the time, and with the entire front of the apartment on fire, there was no way for her to escape. The apartments back up to other units, and there were no doors or windows through which she could exit.
"She did the smartest thing, and I am incredibly proud of her for doing it," her son, Robert Timberman, said Sunday. "She put herself in the bathroom, wet some towels and called 911."
By the time firefighters were able to rescue Karen Timberman, she had lost consciousness and had suffered burns on more than 35 percent of her body.
She was taken to Duke University Hospital and then later transferred to the Jaycee Burn Center.
"This is the last thing that we expected – for something like this to happen to her," sister Cathy Eisan said. "She has been through so much over the years."
Family members and friends posted on Facebook and told WRAL News that Karen Timberman died.
Karen Timberman suffered from heart problems and moved to the apartment to be closer to be closer to Duke University Hospital after getting a mechanical heart that helps pump blood through her body, her family said.