Local News

Fatal apartment fire was accidental

Posted April 10, 2009

— An apartment fire that apparently killed a Garner woman early Friday was accidental, authorities said.

Sarah Alford, 51, was found dead inside her second-floor bedroom at Greenbrier Apartments, 1948 Spring Drive, Garner police Sgt. Chris Clayton said.

Garner fire Woman found dead in Garner apartment fire

Investigators said they believe the fire started in the bedroom. Alford was a smoker, they said, but they did not say whether that was a factor in the fire.

Police are waiting for an autopsy report to determine Alford's cause of death.

Alford's neighbor called 911 at 6:05 a.m., but officers were unable to get inside due to the smoke and heat.

"It was bad enough that (police officers initially at the scene) could not make entry to try to get in there," Clayton said. "They thought there was someone in there, and they tried to do that but the fire was too bad for them to get in."

Firefighters arrived and contained the fire.

Authorities believe Alford, who lived alone, might have been a retired teacher.


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  • Jake1 Apr 13, 2009

    Sarah was a kind person with a heart of gold. That's all that really matters. Whether or not she smoked, whether or not smoking caused the fire - that's not important at all at this point in time.

    She cared deeply, was super smart, was kind, and in her heart-of-hearts she would have given the shirt off her back to help others.

    I know. I am one of her brothers.

  • penny for your thoughts Apr 10, 2009

    My thoughts and prayers are with the family. This is sad. Unfortunately, LocalYokel is right - smoking can get you in more ways than one.

  • diwanicki Apr 10, 2009

    I use to live there 12 years ago when Mr. and Mrs. Ward owned the apartments. I don't know if they still do. I heard one of them had passed away when I moved back to NC. We didn't have any problems back then, but things change. I hope they check everything out before stating the cause.

    My thoughts and prayers are with her family and her friends. from what I saw on teh news, she had some people around her that really cared about her.

  • garden Apr 10, 2009

    Many people have and had cancer that did not smoke one cigarette in their lives. Three of my friends come to mind. And now is not the time or place to belittle the lady because she was a smoker plus it's not your place to judge her localyokel.

  • recpt Apr 10, 2009

    My friend recently moved out of that complex, she said she had electrical problems at her apt. I wonder if there may be negligence on the complex owners part.

    Thinking of Ms. Alford and her family.

  • LizardLick Apr 10, 2009

    LocalYokel - Have some compassion. The woman died and you post this trash. Her family could come read this and have more feeling to deal with. May she have the peace of Heaven for eternity.

  • LocalYokel Apr 10, 2009

    smoking can kill you fast (fire) and smoking can kill you slow (cancer). Long before smoking kills you, it will lower your quality of life.