Woman dies in Mount Olive house fire
By John Joyce
Published in News on July 12, 2013 1:46 PM
Firefighters from Mount Olive, Calypso and Dudley responded to a house fire at 106 S. Johnson St. in Mount Olive on Thursday evening. Although they were able to put out the fire relatively quickly, it was too late to save the occupant of the home, Geraldine Horton.
MOUNT OLIVE -- A Mount Olive woman died Thursday when her house was consumed by fire, making it only a few feet from the door before succumbing.
Mount Olive Fire Chief Steve Martin said Geraldine Horton, 46, was helped by her two sons toward the exit of their home at 106 S. Johnson St., but they just could not get her to safety.
"She was a disabled woman and had been bedridden for some time," Martin said.
He said he knew Ms. Horton personally, having been a year behind her in school, and years later he coached her sons in high school sports.
"It's sad. It's just real sad," Martin said.
The Mount Olive Fire Department had been conducting training operations when the call came in about 7:40 p.m.
The first engine was on scene at 7:43.
Within 15 to 20 minutes, 25 firefighters from Mount Olive, with mutual aid from the Calypso and Dudley fire departments, had the blaze under control. Crews were on scene for four hours.
Ms. Horton's sons and a female victim got out safely with minor injuries and were all transported to Wayne Memorial Hospital where, according to officials, they were treated and released.
A preliminary investigation indicates the fire started due to a malfunctioning washing machine, but that has not been made official, Martin said.
Any suspicion of foul play, however, has been ruled out.