UPDATE: Elderly woman found dead inside Memphis house fire - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

UPDATE: Elderly woman found dead inside Memphis house fire

UPDATED on 07/24/07:

The victim of Saturday's fatal house fire, Millie Banks, was 82-years-old, not 100 as previously reported. 

Additionally, the second victim, James Banks is 66 years old.  He remains in critical condition.

ORIGINAL STORY POSTED 07/21/07

A 100-year-old woman was found dead inside a Memphis house fire Saturday afternoon and a 59-year-old man was critically injured.

The small one-story home near the Mid-South Coliseum was already engulfed in flames by the time the Memphis Fire Department arrived.

Anna Mae Banks and her son James were inside the home at the time of the fire.

James Banks was taken to the Regional Medical Center's Burn Unit in extremely critical condition. He has first, second and third degree burns over sixty percent of his body.

It was not immediately clear whether the house had a working smoke detector.

Anna Mae Banks' birthday was actually Wednesday, but her family was waiting until Saturday evening to celebrate.

Instead, her family now gathers in sorrow, coping with her sudden, unexpected death.

"We were getting ready for this celebration. 100 years and it was a blessing to know that we had her around that long," said family member LaKisha Williams.

Investigators picked through rubble, searching for answers in a shell of a building.

"They said they couldn't get grandma out. it was too late for her and the home just burned up with her," said Banks' grandson Shon Black.

Lt. Keith Staples with Memphis Fire Department added, "trying to determine exactly what caused the blaze. We hadn't got that information as of yet."

"It's kind of heartbreaking today," said Williams. "We lost a good thing today. It hurt us to know she's gone. But we know she's in a better place. She ain't suffering. She ain't got no pain," she added.

The cause of the fire is under investigation tonight.

An autopsy will be performed by the Shelby County Medical Examiner's Office.


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