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Cigarette-smoking woman sets her chair ablaze
Car arson discovered at Stanton Springs

COVINGTON - An elderly woman had a narrow escape in the early morning hours Wednesday when the recliner she was sitting in caught fire, according to the Newton County Fire Service.

Deputy Chief Tim Smith said about 1:30 a.m. fire engines were summoned to 105 Cowan Road.

"An elderly female was smoking while on oxygen which caused a flash fire, which, in turn, set the recliner she was sitting in on fire," Smith said. "She got out of the recliner and family members got the recliner out of the house. There were no injuries to her."

Smith said the recliner, however, did cause damage to the outside of the house as it was close enough to the dwelling to melt the vinyl siding.

Smith said the woman was "extremely lucky."

In other fire service news, an unattended candle was the cause of an apartment fire at 104 Edgefield Lane about 2:15 p.m. Tuesday, Smith said.

"It was a small fire contained to one bedroom on the second floor," Smith said. "The candle burned a hole in the floor and fell down into the ceiling above the living room."

Smith said damage was estimated at $8,000 and was confined to the apartment where the fire originated. Although the tenant was at home, she was uninjured, Smith said.

A passerby notified the Fire Department about 10:15 Monday morning that a car had been set ablaze at Stanton Springs Industrial Park, located at the intersection U.S. Highway 278 and Interstate 20.

"The caller said the fire was out. When we got there, we found a 2004 Dodge Stratus off the roadway and completely burned," Smith said.

A check on the vehicle revealed that it was stolen out of DeKalb County, but the owner is a resident of Newton County.

Smith said investigators processed the arson scene and are continuing their investigation in conjunction with the DeKalb County Police Department's Auto Theft Unit.

He asked that anyone with information about this incident, call the NCFS at 678-625-5050 or go to their Web site at www.newtoncountyfireaservice.org and leave information. All tips can be made anonymously, but if a return call is desired, please leave contact information.

Also, information can be given to the state Arson Hotline at 800-282-5804. Rewards of up to $10,000 are given for information leading to the arrest and conviction of an arsonist.

Calls are taken 24 hours a day.

Barbara Knowles can be reached at barbara.knowles@newtoncitizen.com.