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Grandmother dies in fire ignited by cooking

A fire that started from unattended cooking killed a grandmother preparing a Sunday New Years Day meal for her large extended family in her home at 712 Cherry Ave.

A fire that started from unattended cooking killed a grandmother preparing a Sunday New Years Day meal for her large extended family in her home at 712 Cherry Ave.

ALBANY, Ga. — Grieving friends and family gathered to comfort each other outside their matron’s charred home at 712 Cherry Avenue Sunday.

Gloria Clark probably died of smoke inhalation from a 4:50 a.m. fire ignited by cooking, said Sam Harris, Albany Fire Department investigator.

Harris asked that the 61-year-old Clark’s name not be disclosed until today after her family had been notified. According to the dozens of relatives outside the burned home; Clark had a large family.

People constantly drove up to offer condolences in the afternoon. Many stepped out of their vehicles and hugged each other.

“She had a lot of family and grandkids. I don’t know how many, but a lot,” said grandson Reggie Clark. “She was a really nice lady. She was up cooking so we could have our family holiday meal Sunday.”

Clark’ son Ricarlos Clark was asleep in the home when the fire ignited and filled the house with smoke, Reggie Clark said. Ricarlos kicked the front door open but it was too late to save his mother, Reggie Clark said.

Sadness overcame most of the family and friends outside the Clark home. They did not want to talk.

Judging from the daily fire incident reports, unattended cooking is a frequent reason for house fires. Fire officials always caution residents to be careful cooking, not leave pots and pans on the stove unattended and to have a fire extinguisher handy in the kitchen.