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Woman’s death, cause of blaze under investigation

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Firefighters finish their work at a house fire Monday morning in Nashville. A woman's body was found in the home. / Photo by KJ Rondomanski
Firefighters finish their work at a house fire Monday morning in Nashville. A woman's body was found in the home. / Photo by KJ Rondomanski

A woman’s body was found in the charred remains of a home that burned in Nashville on Monday morning.

As of late Monday, authorities had not released the name of the woman.

Brown County coroner Robbie Ayers said the woman is about 60 or 61 years old. He said they believe they know who the woman is, but that information would not be made public until positive identification was made through medical records, dental records and/or DNA testing. That could take up to 72 hours, he said.

Brown County (Nashville) firefighters responded to 148 E. Washington St. after a Brown County Schools bus driver reported a large amount of smoke coming from the home at about 6 a.m. When Assistant Chief Steve Shaner arrived minutes later, firefighters on the scene already had attempted to gain entry through the front door.

Flames shot out of the front door and window, Chief Dallas Kelp said. Shaner said the front room was engulfed, but firefighters were driven to get inside because they had received a report of a woman possibly on the couch in the living room.

“They were pulled back because the ceiling and everything started falling in on them,” Shaner said.

Firefighters made entry through the rear of the home. They found the woman’s body in the back of the house, Shaner said.

As of late Monday, Ayers had not determined the cause of death.

Ayers said the room the woman was found in sustained heat and smoke damage, but no fire damage. She was found in a bed, he said.

Because the fire involved a death, local authorities contacted a state fire marshal, who arrived in Nashville later in the day.

Garret Walton, a public information officer for the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, said the cause of the fire and the woman’s death still were under investigation. Walton said the marshal was waiting on an autopsy to finish his report.

The autopsy is being performed at Schneck Medical Center in Seymour, Ayers said.

He said nothing criminal was suspected about the death.

No firefighters were injured in the 35 or so minutes it took to extinguish the flames, Kelp said.

Fruitdale, Hamblen, Jackson and Cordry Sweetwater fire departments, along with the Nashville Police Department, Brown County Sheriff’s Office and EMS also assisted at the scene.

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