Woman dies in fire

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, April 9, 2003

A Brookhaven woman was killed Tuesday during a fire that guttedher Egypt Circle home.

Barbara Ann Newton Taylor, 48, was found dead in her bed byfirefighters battling the blaze. Attempts by the emergency medicaltechnicians of King’s Daughters Ambulance Service to resuscitateher failed, according to Fire Chief Paul Cartwright.

“When we arrived we had no idea that Mrs. Taylor was eveninside,” said Assistant Chief Moses Bell. “We were extinguishingthe fire and found her in bed.”

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An autopsy has been ordered to determine the cause of death,said Deputy Coroner Robert Tyler. Preliminary results are expectedtomorrow.

Tyler said he could not speculate on the cause of death, butcited probable causes as burns, smoke inhalation or medical.

“I have no idea of the cause of death,” Tyler said. “She wasmoved from the bed to the yard, so it will have to be determinedmedically.”

Evidence of severe burns was seen across 40 percent of her body,mostly on the upper torso, he said.

All three fire stations responded to the fire, Cartwright said,and found the home fully involved in the rear with the fire workingtoward the front of the house.

“We still had firefighters working on the back (of the home)when we found her,” the chief said.

The house was filled with smoke when a firefighter entered thehome to fight the fire. He saw what appeared to be the silhouetteof a person on the bed and found Taylor, Cartwright said.

There was no evidence of a smoke detector in the house,Cartwright said.

“The men did a marvelous job in knocking down the fire,” Bellsaid. “They had it down quickly.”

The house sustained 85 percent structural damage and 90 percentdamage to its contents.

Her husband, Moses Taylor, arrived at the scene as the fire wasbeing put down, Tyler said. Taylor said his wife had not beenfeeling well Tuesday morning, and when he left the house at 7 a.m.she was still in bed.

The cause of the fire has not been determined, Bell said, but itwas possibly electrical.

Jimmy and Pamela Fields and Leman Jones also live in the house,said Jimmy Fields, but they were not home at the time of the fire.Pamela Fields is Barbara Taylor’s sister.

“The state fire marshal told me this morning that it looks likeit started in the left, back corner room, and they were going toinvestigate it today,” Jimmy Fields said. “I told him I didn’tthink we had anything plugged up in that room.”

“We think we know where the fire started, we’re just not surehow it started,” Cartwright confirmed. “We’ll be investigating thattoday.”

Williams Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.