Local News

71-year-old dies after being injured in Raleigh townhouse fire

Posted October 29, 2018 3:21 p.m. EDT
Updated October 29, 2018 3:22 p.m. EDT

— One woman has died as a result of injuries sustained during an early morning townhouse fire on Sunday.

Authorities responded to the fire at Brook Forest townhomes near Old Wake Forest Road at about 6:40 a.m. Sunday. Three homes were damaged by the fire and six people were forced out of their homes, fire officials said.

On Monday, Jesslyn Beaird, 71, died as a result of her injuries. Authorities said she was a resident of one of the townhomes impacted by the fire.

Authorities on Sunday said CPR was administered to at least one person at the scene and that person was taken to an area hospital for smoke inhalation.

Neighbor William Strickland said he was the first resident in the cul-de-sac to open his door as the area echoed with screams Sunday morning.

"I immediately saw the fire. It was already so bad at that point and I could hear the lady really screaming and I could realize where it was coming from," he said.

Strickland said he and another neighbor helped rescue a woman who became trapped inside one of the townhouses when she fell down the stairs while trying to escape the fire.

"I mean, I'd hope that somebody would do that for me. It's just instinct, I guess. When somebody needs help, they need help. It doesn't matter who they are, you just help," he said.

Authorities have not determined the official cause of the fire, but Strickland said that the woman told him the fire started on the second floor as the result of a lit cigarette.