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LINCOLN -- One person died in a house fire Sunday night and a Lincoln police officer received minor injuries when he tried to find a way to get into the house.

Jay Norton, Lincoln's fire administrator, said the 911 call came in at 9:16 p.m. Sunday and the fire department was on the scene within 5 minutes. He said the house was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived.

The fire destroyed the house and also destroyed a vehicle parked in front of the wood-frame structure and caused major damage to a trailer camper parked next to the house.

The house was behind another residence located at 111 N. Starr Avenue. Norton said he did not think the house that burned had a separate address. The assessor's website showed the house was built around 1997.

He said the fire was so advanced when the department arrived that it was hard to say anything about the cause of the fire. The victim, a woman, was the only person in the house at the time and she was on oxygen. There were many oxygen cylinders inside the house and Norton said the fire was probably intensified by the oxygen cylinders.

Norton said the coroner was on the scene Sunday night and that the victim's identity had not been released yet.

Lincoln Police Chief Russell Morphis said patrol officer Tony Lee was the first one to arrive on the scene. Lee tried to enter the house in two different places but he couldn't get in because of the intensity of the fire, Morphis said.

The back of Lee's jacket was burned, as well as some of his hair. Lee later went to Washington Regional Medical Center to make sure he did not have any injuries from smoke inhalation. Morphis said Lee was checked out and released.

A neighbor across the street on North Starr Avenue said he and his son were in their house when he heard several explosions that sounded like gunshots around 9 p.m.

Michael Ryan said his son looked out the window and saw the fire across the street. Ryan said he ran across the street to see if he could help his neighbor, Tammy Snail, who lives in the house at 111 N. Starr Ave. He brought her dog back to his house.

"I was trying to be neighborly and help them out. That's all I was trying to do," Ryan said.

The 911 call came from a man driving by, Ryan said. The man thought a barbecue grill was on fire. He stopped to check on it and saw flames coming from the windows of the house.

Morphis said the Washington County Fire Marshal's office will investigate the cause of the fire. The sheriff's office will assist Lincoln police in gathering information about the fatality, Morphis said.

Lincoln, Prairie Grove, Farmington and Cincinnati fire departments responded to the fire. Firefighters left the scene at 11:56 p.m. Sunday and Lincoln police remained on site throughout the night to preserve the integrity of the scene.

General News on 02/07/2018

Print Headline: One Dies In Lincoln House Fire

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