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Fire claims life of Hurricane woman, dog


HURRICANE, Washington County — A bedridden woman and her dog were found dead in an early morning apartment fire Monday.

The tragic incident began about 2:15 a.m. Emergency crews were called to a four-unit apartment building near 165 N. 200 West in Hurricane, where a neighbor reported hearing an alarm and "screaming" coming from one of the units, according to Hurricane Police Sgt. Brandon Buell.

Neighbors reported hearing screams from both a woman and a man. The pounding, officials believe, was from a 40-year-old man, possibly a caretaker, who was also in the apartment.

"Officers were able to assist a 40-year old-male from the residence by forcing the back door open and helping him find his way through the smoke," Buell said.

The officers used the fire extinguishers in their patrol cars to try and put out the fire, but it was too intense.

"The entire residence was filled with smoke, and flames were visible from the front door and window," he said.

Firefighters arrived shortly after and knocked down the flames in about 8 minutes, according to the fire chief. But during a search of the residence, they found the body of a 57-year-old woman.

"This female has been dealing with health problems and is bedridden. She could not move without assistance. Firefighters also found a deceased dog in the residence," Buell said.

Hurricane Valley Fire Chief Tom Kuhlmann said the fire was determined to have started in a front room, near the door and next to a window, the same place where the woman had a bed. The cause of the fire was still under investigation Monday, but it did not appear to be suspicious, Buell said. There were oxygen tanks next to the woman's bed, Kuhlmann confirmed.

The man was transported by Hurricane Valley Fire District ambulance to Dixie Regional Medical Center. He was reportedly stable, Buell said.

Neither the names of the man nor woman were immediately released Monday.

The apartment was determined to be a total loss.


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