Fatal Nov. 6 fire ruled “not suspicious” by State Fire Marshal

By Linda Trest, Staff Writer
Posted 11/13/19

A structure fire was reported Wednesday evening, Nov. 6, at 6:07 p.m. The caller said she was trapped inside her mobile home...

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Fatal Nov. 6 fire ruled “not suspicious” by State Fire Marshal

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A structure fire was reported Wednesday evening, Oct. 6, at 6:07 p.m. The caller said she was trapped inside her mobile home, according to Gerald-Rosebud Fire Chief Warren Weiss. During the call, dispatch lost contact with the woman, who died from unspecified causes as a result of the fire.

Weiss was the first to arrive on the scene and found heavy fire at the front of the home. A wooden front porch with awning was completely engulfed when he got there. The fire had encroached into the living area as well.

The first pumper on the scene was able to knock down the fire.

Fire crews were unable to enter the back door of the home.

After knocking down the burning porch, firemen entered the structure and were able to begin trying to locate the woman through thick smoke.

Shelly Wilson was found in a back bedroom unconscious and with no pulse. Firemen extricated her from her home by enlarging a window opening in the bedroom. EMS personnel were outside the window waiting to administer aid.

Both Franklin County Arson Investigator Jim Schuhmacher and a State Fire Marshal Ryan Lesh were on the scene.

Weiss says their presence was a result of the fatal nature of the fire. They found nothing suspicious about the cause of the blaze.

Weiss says the fire probably began as a result of a smoldering cigarette in the porch area. Wilson was known to go on the porch to smoke, Weiss reports.

Heavy smoke and heat damage will probably render the home a total loss, according to Weiss.

Beaufort-Leslie Fire Department assisted with the fire. The scene was cleared at 10:41 p.m.

Weiss said his crew did a great job in a tough situation. Fighting through intense smoke, they were able to locate Wilson quickly once they were able to enter the home.

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