Woman dies in Hartsburg house fire

Monday, October 10, 2011 | 8:38 p.m. CDT; updated 11:29 p.m. CDT, Monday, October 10, 2011
Deputy Cody Bounds overlooks the aftermath of a fatal house fire on East Soft Pit Hill Road in Hartsburg. State and county fire marshals began investigating inside the house Monday. The victim was found in her living room, and three dogs were found under a bed.

HARTSBURG — A woman died in a house fire Monday morning on East Soft Pit Hill Road.

The fire was reported at 10:29 a.m. by a passing driver who noticed smoke coming out of the house, said Price Nichols, public information officer for the Southern Boone County Fire Protection District. The man put his hand on the door to check if anyone was home, but decided it was too hot to enter.

Two engines, two tankers and two squad cars arrived at the scene 11 minutes later, Nichols said.  

"Flames were already through the roof, so we used a deck gun like you'd see at the airport and went through the roof with it and had it under control in 10 minutes," he said.

By the time the fire was extinguished, the charred roof had caved in, leaving a gaping hole at least the size of a small car. Wood beams and singed pink and yellow insulation — once hidden from view by walls and white siding — were visible from the street.

The woman and her husband apparently lived in the house with their granddaughter, Nichols said. At the time of the fire, the granddaughter was at school and the husband was not at home.

The family's three dogs were also victims of the fire.  They were found hiding under a bed, he said.

No other injuries were reported.

Although most of the fire damage was on the main level at the front of the home, Nichols said he believed the house was a total loss because of water damage.

He would not release the name of the woman who died in the fire. Its cause remains under investigation.

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