Flames shot through the roof of two-story home on Trotter’s Walk Thursday morning. As several neighbors watched in disbelief, the body of a female, in her mid-60s, was wheeled out of the home and into a waiting ambulance.
The woman’s daughter sobbed, and ran after the stretcher as her mother was wheeled out of the burning home. The woman, whose name is being withheld pending notification of her extended family, was still alive when brought from the home but died shortly thereafter.
The call for help was received by the Newton County Fire Department at 8:46 a.m. and they arrived at the two-story home at 8:53. At that time firefighters could reportedly see flames shooting from the rear of the residence on both the first and second floors. Smith said the initial investigation shows the fire may have originated on the first floor of the home.
A 17-year-old male had been inside the home at the time of the fire, as had the deceased and several family dogs. The boy was able to jump from a second floor window, landing on the roof of a van that was parked in front of the home. He was transported to Newton Medical Center and, as of press time, is in stable condition.
The victim was located in a front bedroom on the second floor of the home. A cause of death has yet to be released. One of the family dogs was found dead in the home as well; the others had not been located as of press time.
The cause of the fire remains unknown, according to Newton County Deputy Fire Chief Tim Smith. The total loss of the home is approximately $215,000 with roughly $35,000 worth of contents lost to the fire as well.
Although it took firefighters only 25-30 minutes to get the blaze under control, the investigation into the fire is taking longer due to the frigid temperatures.
"We’ve had problems with ice all day," said Smith. "We are working against the elements right now. It didn’t hinder us from fighting the fire but it is hindering us now."
It is believed the fire was accidental and according to Smith, nothing thus far has led fire officials to think the blaze may be a case of arson.
"It appears right now that it was just a tragic accident," he said.