A Brusly woman is dead after early morning fire

Photo provided by staff.

POSTED: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - 5:30pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - 4:35pm

The cold weather means a lot of you are turning on your heaters, but a warning after an elderly Brusly woman died when her trailer caught fire.

Verna Craig was a mom and a friend, but she's also beloved neighbor. They said they'll miss her presence in the community, but fire officials have a warning for everyone. When its gets cold outside, it's important to put safety first.

Kind is one word Junius Bynun would describe his neighbor Verna Craig. He's lived next to her for more than 60 years.

"She was a good neighbor, always willing to help everybody," Junius said. "Well at five this morning, I heard the sirens, and I saw a blue light back in front, so I got up, and when I looked and that's when they said her trailer was on fire, and she was still in it."

Firefighters got called to the 3700 block of Choctaw Road around 5:00 P.M. Tuesday morning. Verna died from smoke inhalation after her trailer caught on fire. Junius said this is the first time a fire this big has happened in his neighborhood.

"No, not around here. That's why it's so shocking. I came out here on the porch and that's when they said that she was gone," Junius said. "She's going to be missed you know that. Every time I look over there, knowing she's not there."

The state fire marshal Butch Browning said when it's cold outside, more fires tend to happen because people aren't taking the necessary precautions.There are things you can do to stay warm and stay safe.

"But remember safety. The common cause of fires, pots being let on the stove, the issue of placing these space heaters, having that 3-foot clearance is also very important," Browning said. "Finally, most importantly the smoke alarms. Without all those things in your home and that vigilance, these tragedies will continue to happen."

Browning said the fire was probably caused by a space heater left too close to the bed, but the fire is still under investigation.

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