ALBANY, Ga. -- After evaluating the reports from various sources, Dougherty County Coroner Emma Quimbley said 40-year-old Flora Hoskins' death was accidental.
"This was not a homicide. She was accidentally burned, which complicated her pre-existing diabetic condition" Quimbley said. "She died of diabetic ketosis complicated by her burns."
Hoskins died on Nov. 22 after returning from an Augusta burn center on Nov. 13. She had been taken to the burn center after her clothes caught fire from a space heater at her 515 N. Washington St. residence.
The death so close to her release from the burn center left the reasons for her death unclear. Authorities from the Albany fire and police departments participated in the investigation.
Quimbley signed the death certificate after receiving reports from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's autopsy performed in Macon, checking with the burn center and calling Hoskins physician and pharmacy.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine's website, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, "Diabetic ketoacidosis is a complication of diabetes that occurs when the body cannot use sugar (glucose) as a fuel source because the body has no insulin or not enough insulin, and fat is used instead. Byproducts of fat breakdown, called ketones, build up in the body.
"People with type 1 diabetes lack enough insulin, a hormone the body uses to process glucose (blood sugar) for energy. When glucose is not available, body fat is broken down instead.
"As fats are broken down, acids called ketones build up in the blood and urine. In high levels, ketones are poisonous. This condition is known as ketoacidosis."