Duplex fire kills woman

Incident under investigation, but not suspicious

By Kristina Belcher, Published:

Caution tape still surrounds the home where a Frankfort woman was killed in a fire Monday morning.

Now that fire is under investigation.

Frankfort Police Capt. Robert Warfel said Linda Perry, 69, was confirmed dead after a fire at her home on Williamsburg Road.

According to Frankfort Fire Chief Eddie Slone, the damage was mainly contained to the home’s living room, where Perry was found.

The rest of the home suffered extensive smoke damage, but remains structurally intact, Slone said.

A neighbor, whose duplex connects with Perry’s, called in the fire after smelling smoke.

The neighbor and his son had evacuated the building, Slone said.

By the time crews arrived, Slone said they could see moderate smoke from a fire that was possibly beginning to burn out.

“It would not surprise me if it had been burning for a while,” Slone said.

It took fire crews “literally seconds” to get the fire out, Slone said, thanks to good information given to dispatch.

Perry was pronounced dead on the scene.

Warfel said Perry had a history of medical problems and was alone in the home when the fire broke out.

While the official cause is still under investigation, Warfel said the cause of the blaze didn’t appear to be suspicious.

According to authorities, family members said Perry was a smoker and also used an oxygen tank.

“It’s important to remember that a person’s clothing becomes oxygen saturated when they’re on oxygen,” Slone said.

He pointed out that a person who hasn’t used a tank in several minutes would still have clothing that is very flammable.

A cigarette igniting this oxygen would cause “rapid fire expansion,” Slone said. 

“It intensified the flame.”

Slone said he is unsure if the home had working smoke detectors.

“We cannot overemphasize the importance of working smoke alarms, especially this time of year,” the fire chief said.

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