Woman dies in house fire

COVINGTON - A 70-year-old woman was found dead inside the burnt remains of a house located at 90 Emily Trace on Friday morning.

At 8:15 a.m., 911 dispatch received a call from the victim, who said that her house was on fire and that she couldn't get out, according to Newton County Fire Chief Mike Satterfield.

"She reported that her sofa was on fire and that she had a discarded cigarette in either a trash receptacle or an ash tray that had been knocked over, which started the fire," Satterfield said. "She stated at that point that she could not get out of the house. We have been told that she used a walker some of the time ... and that she may have been suffering partially from Alzheimer's."

Upon arriving at the scene, Satterfield said that the fire was heavily involved and that firefighters began a "very aggressive" search to find the woman.

The fire was intense, however, and parts of it had to be extinguished before firefighters could make it safely inside the residence.

The victim was later found dead in an office adjacent to the living room.

Though the official cause of death has not yet been determined, Satterfield said it appears the cause will be smoke inhalation.

The cause of the fire has been listed as accidental.

Satterfield said that the home was not physically destroyed by the fire, but that due to the heavy smoke damage throughout, it will probably be a total loss.

The name of the victim is being withheld, pending the notification of family members.

Joel Griffin can be reached at joel.griffin@ newtoncitizen.com