Woman, 70, Found Dead After House Fire Was a ‘Real Sweet, Good Neighbor’

Victim's cause of death to be determined by medical examiner after accidental early-morning house fire

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A 70-year-old woman was found dead after her house caught fire early Wednesday morning in East Fort Worth, firefighters say.

The fire was reported at about 4:30 a.m. at a home on the 2100 block of Hudson Street, near Interstate 30 and Beach Street.

A Fort Worth fire spokesman said firefighters found a body inside a bedroom in the back of the house.

The woman was identified Wednesday by the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office as 70-year-old Jan Reynolds Davis. Her cause of death has not yet been officially determined.

"She was real sweet, a good neighbor. She was … real easy going and would get out and talk and that kind of stuff," said neighbor Charles McLaughlin, who added that two of the woman's pets also died in the fire. "I'm real sorry for the family and we sent our condolences to them. I'm very sad that this happened."

McLaughlin told NBC 5 that while he didn't go into the home he did look inside and noticed a lot of apparent smoke damage.

"The fire inside was pretty dramatic. I looked in," McLaughlin said. "It's all black and just a lot of smoke in there. I did not see tremendous fire damage as much as I saw smoke damage."

The spokesman said firefighters noted the bedroom door was open to the rest of the house and no smoke alarms were heard when they arrived at the scene.

Research from Underwriters Laboratories Firefighter Safety Research Institute, first reported on by NBC 5 Investigates in 2015, shows a closed door not only blocks smoke, but it can also slow the flow of heat and toxic gases to give people the extra time they need to wake up and get out alive.

The other key to surviving a house fire are working smoke detectors.

"We should always have those smoke alarms going and working. We want you to check them every month and make sure they work," said Kyle Clay, with the Fort Worth Fire Department. "A lot of people don't realize we don't smell things when we sleep. You're not going to smell smoke when you wake up."

Investigators believe the cause of the fire was accidental/electrical -- though the specific cause has not been revealed.

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