06/10/09 — Kitchen fire claims life of woman

View Archive

Kitchen fire claims life of woman

By Steve Herring
Published in News on June 10, 2009 1:46 PM

FAISON -- Unattended cooking is being blamed for a Tuesday morning house fire that claimed the life of an elderly bed-ridden woman.

Firefighters were called to the home of Polly Summerlin Williams, who was in her 80s, on Tom Hill Road around 10 a.m.

A relative who also was at the house escaped uninjured.

Duplin County Fire Marshal Brian Pearce said that federal privacy law prevented him from identifying and providing information about Mrs. Williams. She was identified by a family member.

He said firefighters and paramedics quickly arrived at the scene and conducted an initial search before firefighters began to battle the blaze. That, he said, was when Mrs. Williams' body was found.

Her body was transported by Duplin EMS to Duplin General Hospital.

Faison, Calypso and Warsaw fire fighters responded to the alarm and were on the scene for about two hours.

The unattended cooking caused the accidental fire, Pearce said.

Pearce said the house was old had suffered structural damage and probably would be totaled.