1 confirmed dead in house fire

Published 10:03 am Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The person who died in an early morning house fire on April 25 has been identified.

The Bell County Coroner’s Office was contacted by Middlesboro Dispatch that morning in reference to a death that had been discovered by the Middlesboro Fire Department, after the department’s firefighters extinguished a fire that destroyed a home on Parker Lane in Middlesboro.

The official statement reads that upon arrival, Fire Chief Robert England briefed Deputy Coroners Don Horton and Jason Steele on the fire itself and the efforts to contain the blaze by firefighters on the scene. The deputy coroners confirmed the death of a female that firefighters discovered inside of the home. Kentucky State Police arson detectives and the Kentucky Fire Marshall’s Office were contacted to assist the Middlesboro Fire Department in determining the origin of the fire.

Bell County Coroner Jay Steele released the identity of the adult female on Thursday.

Susan Marie Anderson, 35, of Middlesboro, was identified after an autopsy was performed at the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Frankfort on the morning of April 26. The preliminary autopsy results show strong signs of smoke inhalation as being the immediate cause of Anderson’s death.

Steele also shared that England is reporting that the preliminary investigation by the city fire department, the state arson detective, and state fire marshal strongly indicated the cause of the fire was due to a faulty electrical device found in the home. England also noted that smoke detectors were not found to be installed in the home.

“Because of thermal injuries to the body and the obvious destruction that fire itself causes to these scenes, it is a standard procedure for fire death investigations to take these extra steps to ensure the identity and exact cause of death is determined in these circumstances, and to find the source of the fire, even when no foul play is suspected.” stated Steele.

Family members were notified upon completion of the identification by the Bell County Coroner’s Office.