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Neighbor Attempted To Save Woman From Fire
Updated December 4, 2014 7:16 AM | Filed under: Fire
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(SALEM) - A fire at Parkview Apartments in Salem Tuesday afternoon claimed the life of a resident.

Coroner Rondale Brishaber says he does not have a positive identification for the victim, and hopes to have one within two days.

Neighbors believe the victim was a woman who had recently moved in.

Another resident in a different apartment suffered smoke inhalation and was treated and released at a local hospital.

Salem Fire Chief Tom Day spent about two hours after the fire was extinguished with the Fire Marshall investigating the cause. Day believes the fire started in the living room area of the apartment where the body was found. Firefighters should know more in a couple of days.

When firefighters arrived at 4:40 p.m. at 817 Parkview Drive, fire was shooting out the front windows and the door of apartment 102.

Ronnie Gray, who lives nearby, was one of the first to notice flames and smoke coming from his neighbor's apartment. He did not know the neighbor but attempted to save her.

Gray made it just past the front door and called for the woman, but there was no response. Overcome by heat and smoke he attempted to enter the apartment though a window, but the smoke was so thick he couldn't see or breathe and was forced to give up and wait for firefighters to arrive.

In spite of a quick response, firefighters discovered the victim dead inside the living room. Chief Tom Day said it is the first fatality his department has worked in about four years.

Firefighters were able to contain the massive blaze to that one apartment and had it under control by 6 p.m.

That apartment was a total loss with an adjacent apartment receiving some smoke and water damage. Two other apartments in the building also had some minor smoke damage.

Three other units at the Parkview Apartments were damaged. The residents are staying with friends and family.

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