Bible Hill fire victim remembered fondly by neighbours

Harry Sullivan
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‘As far as I’m concerned, you couldn’t ask for a better neighbour’

BIBLE HILL – Normally, Amber only barks at cats.

The neighbour of a woman who died in a late afternoon fire in Bible Hill on Tuesday, said her young Rottweiler, Amber, first alerted her to attention to the blaze.

Tuesday, though, was different. And it didn’t take long for the young Rottweiler’s owner to figure out why.

When the woman got up to check it out she realized her Bible Hill Estate neighbour’s mini home was on fire.

A 49-year-old mother of three, who was alone in the residence at the time, perished in the blaze that broke out late Tuesday afternoon.

“We were in the living room watching T.V. and all of a sudden she got up off the couch and she ran over to the kitchen window,” said the dog’s owner, who asked that her name be withheld for personal reasons.

“And she started growling,” the woman said. “I yelled ‘to get out of there’ and then she started barking like crazy. The only thing she barks at is cats. But she would not quit barking.

“So I thought, what’s going on, and I got up to get her out of the window and I looked out and I seen the smoke and I made a beeline for it …”

“I was first on scene,” the neighbour said. “I ran right over and, man, the smoke was coming out pretty good.”

At about the same time, she sad, another neighbour ran over with a fire extinguisher and broke a window in an effort to get access.

“I started running around the back side because I was looking for the back entrance to try to go in. And as the fire was flaming around the windows were popping out beside me. And I was yelling: ‘anyone in there?’ But there was no response,” she said.

“It’s a tragic, tragic event and I just don’t understand …

“I’m devastated. I mean, I didn’t really sleep last night. I keep telling myself, you know, like when Amber first growled, instead of just telling her to get out of the window, if I had got up then, even two minutes might have made a difference … that’s why I was looking for a back door.”

The woman described her neighbour as a “quiet” individual. “She never bothered anybody,” she said. “Her lawn was always cut perfectly crisp. She always had her flower gardens tended to, always cleaning her car. I don’t understand what happened or why.”

Gordon McNutt, who lived beside the deceased woman, also described her in glowing terms.

“Very good neighbor,” he said. “She kept the place looking nice and she was an excellent person. As far as I’m concerned, you couldn’t ask for a better neighbour.”

McNutt estimated the woman had lived in the mini home beside him for about a decade.

“Beautiful lady. Hard worker,” he said.

“She was excellent as a neighbor. I couldn’t ask for anybody better. It’s a tragedy. She’ll be missed.”

 

hsullivan@trurodaily.com

Twitter: @tdnharry

 

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