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Woman dies in house fire

Photo by Avan Clark

Photo by Avan Clark

ALBANY -- A 74-year-old woman died from smoke inhalation after her cigarette ignited a fire in her Radium Springs home Thursday, emergency response officials stated.

Despite efforts by emergency responders to revive her, Audrey Batey was pronounced dead at about 3 p.m. at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, said Nate Godwin, Dougherty County deputy coroner.

"The cause of death was smoke and soot inhalation from the fire at her home," Godwin said.

Smoking started the 1:46 p.m. fire at her 2800 Radium Springs Road home, said Albany Fire Department Deputy Fire Chief Ron Rowe.

"An ashtray and cigarettes were found next to a recliner in the den," Rowe said. "That was where the fire started. It was the result of careless smoking."

Firefighters arrived at the burning three-bedroom, brick ranch home about five minutes after the emergency dispatch, said Keith Ambrose, fire battalion chief.

Dougherty County Police routed traffic around the scene allowing firefighters room to put their hoses down, fight the fire and attempt a rescue.

Capt. Paul Golden and Lt. John Beaman entered the smoke-filled house and found Batey unconscious on the floor behind a bedroom door, Ambrose said. The two took her from the house and began efforts to revive her with CPR and oxygen, he said.

A Dougherty County EMS ambulance took Batey to Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital from her home, Rowe added. She was the only person in the home when the firefighters arrived.

Batey lived alone with pets, Godwin said. While investigating the cause of the fire, officials discovered a dead cat.