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Tuscumbia fire victim likely died of smoke inhalation

Firefighters tell WAAY 31 the cause of the fire started from a space heater

Posted: Jan. 7, 2018 7:45 PM
Updated: Jan. 8, 2018 6:37 PM

A woman in The Shoals is dead after a mobile home fire in Tuscumbia.

WAAY 31 learned 69-year-old Gilda Stone was inside her home when it caught on fire early Sunday morning. Firefighers said most likely a space heater running from an extension cord started the fire.

The fire started a little before 3 a.m. Sunday morning at Stone's home on 4th Avenue. Tuscumbia police say a juvenile was also in the home but able to escape. 

"I run over here, trying to go in. The firefighters wouldn't let me in," said Erric Holland, who is the grandson of Gilda Stone.

Waking up from a bad dream is how Erric Holland describes the death of his grandmother, Gilda Stone.

"It's new to me. It's crazy. Like a nightmare," Holland said.

Holland and other family members told WAAY 31 Stone lived in her home a little over 30 years.

"I had a lot of childhood memories in here. Grew up on and off here. She's lived here my whole life. She always said she would die in this place," Holland said.

Paula Woodley used to be Stone's neighbor. They knew each other for 25 years. She said Stone loved her family and she was selfless.

"If she could do anything for you, she would do it. If she couldn't then she would find the way to help you," Paula Woodley said. 

Woodley didn't think the next time she'd be in the neighborhood would be because of a deadly fire.

"I was planning on coming next week or this weekend to visit with her. I adored the lady. She was a sweet lady," Woodley said.

Officials said the fire does not look suspicious, so they decided not to do an autopsy on Stone's body. The Colbert County Coroner said Stone likely died of smoke inhilation. 

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