Woman Severely Burned After Apparently Smoking In Bed

May 14, 2006
Dwayne Page

A 62 year old resident of Fiddler's Manor Apartments on Walker Drive was airlifted to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga Sunday morning with severe burns after apparently smoking in bed .

The name of the woman is being withheld pending notification of her family.

Detective Sergeant Chris Russell of the Smithville Police Department says Officer Marcus Caldwell responded to the call around 11:00 a.m. The Smithville Volunteer Fire Department was also summoned to the scene.

Upon arrival, Officer Caldwell and another resident found smoke coming from under the door of the woman's apartment. Caldwell forced open the door and found the apartment filled with smoke. The woman was in the bathroom and she had suffered severe burns on her head, back, and the sides of her body.

Officer Caldwell removed the woman from the apartment. She was treated at the scene by DeKalb EMS and airlifted from the parking lot of Smithville Elementary School by a Life Force Helicopter Ambulance and flown to Erlanger Hospital.

The other sixteen residents of the apartment complex were evacuated from the building as a precaution, but no one else was injured.

Detective Sergeant Russell says the preliminary investigation is that the woman may have been smoking in bed and either caught her clothing or some other cloth material on fire. Authorities believe she had gone from the bedroom to the bathroom in an attempt to extinguish the fire.

The woman's apartment apparently received little or no fire damage, and no other apartment was affected by the fire.

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