An elderly Munford woman died in a house fire caused by a lit cigarette, Munford/Atoka Fire Chief Alan Barkelew said.
The woman, whose name has not been released, was reportedly on oxygen and smoking in bed.
“Most of the fire appeared to be in the mattress,” he said, noting it was hard to determine exactly how it started.
Barkelew said the woman, who was disabled, was attempting to get out of the house and was found in a bathroom.
“She could barely walk without her walker, so she either crawled or walked down the hallway.”
She was unresponsive when the firefighters arrived and was later pronounced dead at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Tipton. Barkelew said the smoke inhalation is what killed her.
Her son and daughter-in-law are neighbor, the chief said, and were able to get the woman’s 94-year-old mother, who also lives in the Peggy Lane home, and two dogs out safely.
Barkelew said it’s hard on firefighters when they can’t save someone’s life.
“It’s hard to accept any time something like this happens,” he said. “You wonder if you could have saved her if maybe they’d called earlier or if you’d responded quicker. It plays on your heart.”
A dog and a pet bird also died in the fire.