Mother of Five Dies in Lynchburg Fire - WSET.com - ABC13

Mother of Five Dies in Lynchburg Fire

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Lynchburg, VA - A Lynchburg woman has died after her house caught fire Thursday on Polk Street.

Fire officials say Mary Hart, 77, was trying to warm herself with a kerosene heater and actually caught fire herself.

Hart's children tell ABC 13 their mother was a "fixture in the neighborhood."

Hart had lived at the house on Polk Street for nearly 40 years.

Fire officials say the fire started in the center on a side of the house. Officials say Hart called 911 herself, saying her clothes were on fire. Now her family is left in grief.

"Everybody's heartbroken right now," said Hart's son Nathaniel Hart.

Hart was a mother of five.

The family says Hart was taken to the hospital, but later died from her injuries.

When firefighters got to the house Thursday, they found two small areas of fire. One where Hart's heater was, and another in the bathroom where Hart ran to try to extinguish the flames in the bathtub.

Firefighters were able to get the flames out quickly but for Hart it was too late.

Battalion Chief Heather Childress says its incidents just like this are what drive them to teach heat safety.

"We would just recommend that everyone be mindful of the use of auxiliary heating appliances. You want to make sure they're well maintained at that you maintain a safe distance from them," Childress said.

Officials recommend you always plug heaters into the wall and not into an extension cord. Also be sure to clean kerosene wicks and don't let combustible matter pile up.

Finally, keep heaters away from drapes and furniture.

Childress says that people often want heaters out of the way and push them against walls or too close to furniture or curtains.

Childress says they are not sure if Hart had heat in her home, but they say she did have multiple space heaters around.

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