State Fire Marshal's office investigating fatal blaze in Welch
WELCH, Apr 14, 2012 (Bluefield Daily Telegraph - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
An investigator with the State Fire Marshal's office had few additional details to release related to the fire that claimed the life of a McDowell County woman on Thursday afternoon, but confirmed that the female's body was found on the second floor of the structure.
While the investigator did not release the name of the victim, neighbors confirmed that the victim was Cleo Smith, 88, of Welch.
Scott Rodes of the State Fire Marshal's office said that the fire was of undetermined origin. "The body of an adult female was removed from the structure and sent to the state medical examiner for an autopsy," Rodes said.
"Her body was found on the second floor of the structure," Rodes said. "At the time of the fire, she was the only person in the structure."
The fire was in a residence at 188 Court St. The Welch Volunteer Fire Department received the call on the fire at 1 p.m. on Thursday, and was on the scene in a matter of minutes. McDowell County 911 paged out additional fire units from Kimball and Roderfield volunteer fire departments.
The fire knocked out communications in Welch including telephone service to city hall. Service to city hall was restored Friday morning, but phone service to at least one Court Street business was still out as late as Friday afternoon.
-- Contact Bill Archer at email@example.com
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