83-Year-Old Dies After Fire at Garner Duplex
Posted March 17, 2007 7:29 a.m. EDT
Updated March 17, 2007 6:59 p.m. EDT
Garner, N.C. — Garner police and Wake County fire officials are investigating a fire that caused the death of an 83-year-old woman.
Police and fire units responded late Friday to reports of a duplex on fire at 411 Aversboro Road.
“It had a good start on us,” said Garner Fire District Chief Steve Williams. “They were here quick, but it was fully involved. It had already vented when they made their attack.”
Firefighters rescued Maude Strother, 83, who had recently started using a wheelchair and couldn't get out of the house on her own.
Strother was taken to WakeMed, where she later died, police said. Her daughter and her boyfriend, who both lived inside the home with Strother, escaped the fire without injury.
The resident of the other apartment, Michael Rogers, was not home at the time but arrived while firefighters were at the scene.
"I could smell smoke as soon as I pulled up to the scene," Rogers said. "When I hopped out, I saw the firefighters fighting the fire, struggling to rescue our neighbor."
Rogers said the two survivors ran next door to get help, and attempted to go back to get Strother out, but the fire was too hot..
The fire did extensive damage to one side of the duplex, and there was also smoke and water damage on the other side. So far, no damage estimate has been given.
Authorities believe the fire was accidental but have not determined the cause.
The American Red Cross is assisting the fire victims.