Woman killed in house fire

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 17, 2005

An unidentified woman was killed in a fire reported at 1:35 a.m. Sunday.

Two people were caught in a home on 607 St. Phillips Street, Selma Fire Department Battalion Chief Andy Dearman said.. One, 43-year-old Matthew Smith, managed to make it out the back door as firefighters arrived on the scene.

“He was transported by Haynes to the hospital,” Dearman said. “He had some burns on him and I’m sure the smoke inhalation overcame him.”

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Smith was later transported to UAB Medical Center in Birmingham for treatment, according to Dearman.

Dearman said he didn’t know what caused the fire, but it was doubtful arson was involved.

“The state fire marshall is investigating it,” Dearman said.

The woman, reported to be in her mid-40s, was found in a bedroom of the home. The fire most likely started in the living room, Dearman said.

Dearman said that as his crew got to the home, they received a call that someone might be in the home. They didn’t know how many.

“As we did our search we found her,” he said. “She was in the bed.”

Dearman said the most likely cause of death was smoke inhalation.

“It was just superheated in there,” he said. “Anybody that was in there the smoke and the heat would overtake (them).” Dearman said police had a likely identity of the woman, but wouldn’t be able to release her name until it was verified.

Dearman didn’t know if the woman was related to Smith.