Woman found dead in burning home - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Woman found dead in burning home

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(WMC-TV) – Shelby County Fire officials are investigating a house fire that killed a 70-year-old woman who lived alone.

Investigators said Tuesday afternoon they found her body near the front door of her home.

The fire happened in the 9200 block of Curling Pond in Lakeland.

"I loved her to death," said close friend Johnnie Langston. 

Langston can't eat or sleep since Monday night's fire, when her best friend Barbara Clark died.

She's overwhelmed by one emotion.

"Sorrow, because she was such a good friend," said Langston. 

The Shelby County Fire Department received a 911 call just after 10 p.m. Monday night.

When they arrived, they found the back of the house engulfed in flames and Clark inside at the front door.

Initially, the fire department did not reveal what sparked the fire, but Spokesman Brent Perkins had advice for anyone using space heaters.

"Let's keep those space heaters three feet from everything," said Perkins. 

Three fire departments fought the blaze: Shelby County, Memphis and Arlington.

Perkins said icy streets made the rescue effort harder.

"Several things that can help if an individual has to call 911. Have as much accurate information as possible. That way the dispatchers can notify the fire fighters and they can be more ready when they make the scene," said Perkins.

Perkins pointed out Clark was not the person who called 911, a neighbor did.

It's unclear why that was the case.

Langston said her friend had severe back problems, and the haunting image of Clark trying to escape the flames is etched in Langston's mind.

"Although she was sick, she was always helping someone else," said Langston.

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