The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Cops, courts and fires

November 19, 2011

Anderson woman pulled from house fire

Mitchell flown to Indy burn center after blaze

ANDERSON, Ind. — A woman was hospitalized in critical condition after an early evening house fire in downtown Anderson.

Anderson Fire Department Battalion Chief Sam Aleshire said a call reporting a residential fire at 2311 Brown St.  came into dispatch at 5:40 p.m. Saturday. Aleshire said that when firefighters arrived, they found a badly burned woman inside the home and carried her out.

Margaret Mitchell was transported to Saint John’s Medical Center in Anderson and then flown via helicopter to Wishard Memorial Hospital in Indianapolis. Mitchell was admitted to the burn center.

“Forty to 50 percent of her body is covered in third-degree burns,” said Anderson Fire Department spokesman Dave Cravens.

Cravens said it took Anderson firefighters an hour to control and distinguish the blaze. Because of the extensive smoke damage, the home is no longer in a livable state, he said.

Investigators were also called to the home. Cravens said four investigators were checking the home, which was filled with a large amount of “clutter.”

“We brought arson dogs to double-check,” he said. “We don’t know what caused it yet. I’ll know more Monday when I look at the investigators’ reports.”

Mitchell’s husband, Randy, arrived after his wife had been taken to the hospital. Aleshire said his drivers met with the man to get more information.

Neighbors watching the commotion said they thought they heard a small explosion after seeing flames come from the home. They said the couple was quiet and kept to themselves.

Contact April Abernathy: 640-4861,

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