Victim of fire had trouble walking

COVINGTON -- The woman who died in an early morning fire at her home in Trotters Walk subdivision Thursday has been identified as Laverne Goodwin of 125 Trotters Walk, according to Newton County Fire Service.

Deputy Chief Tim Smith said he believes the woman was in her mid-60s, and from talking with her family understands that she had problems with her knees.

"That hampered her from getting around very well," he said. "It was very clear to us that she had a hard time being mobile due to her knee problems."

Smith said investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the fire and will be working through the weekend.

"We were out there (Friday) until it got so cold we couldn't stand it," he said. "We'll be back (today)."

The woman lived in a split-level home and it is believed the fire began on the lower level. She was found in an upstairs bedroom when firefighters arrived seven minutes after she called 911, telling dispatchers she was trapped inside her burning home.

"We made entry into the residence through the front window and the front door at the staircase," Smith said. "We did a search and found the victim in a front bedroom on the second floor."

The woman was transported to Newton Medical Center where she was pronounced dead. An autopsy has been performed at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation lab and Smith said he is awaiting the final report to release the ruling on the official cause of death.

There was a 17-year-old male at the residence at the time of the blaze who was injured when he jumped to safety from the second floor. He was transported to Newton Medical Center. The teen had attempted to help Goodwin escape the blaze, but was unable to do so, authorities said.