(02/04/2012)

Woman died making effort to rescue her 10-year
-old son, who was already out of the structure

The Spencer community is reacting to a tragic fire that killed a dutiful mother.

The WV State Fire Marshal is saying the fire that killed a Spencer woman Thursday morning was an accident.

Authorities say that smoke inhalation killed 34-year-old Sarah Miller McAtee, the mother of three children.

The victim's husband, Michael McAtee was seriously injured while trying to rescue her from the fire. He is in the Cabell-Huntington Hospital burn unit, where he is expected to recover.

A Roane County sheriff's officer made an unsuccessful attempt to pull the victim from the burning home on Circle Avenue, while other community members performed heroically with the tragic incident.

The Roane County Sheriff's Department did manage to extract a man from a downstairs apartment, after he appeared to be confused about leaving the burning structure.

Fireman made two attempts with airpacks before
reaching the victim in a charred upstairs bedroom

Spencer firemen with air packs eventually reached the upstairs bedroom where Ms. McAtee was overcome, after she re-entered the structure believing her 10-year-old son was in the dwelling.

Neighbors spoke openly about the tragedy, saying the McAtee's had been good neighbors and good parents to their children.

Funeral arrangements for the victim will be completed at the John H. Taylor Funeral Home in Spencer.

See related story VICTIM IDENTIFIED: WOMAN DIES IN SPENCER HOUSE FIRE RE-ENTERING DWELLING - Believed 10-Year-Old Son Inside, Husband Sent To Burn Center


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