(02/18/2016)
State fire marshals are investigating a fatal fire in Ritchie County.

A 97 year old woman died in a fire that occurred about 9:20 a.m. Wednesday in Harrisville.

Investigators said the fire was accidental.

Officials initially responded to a cardiac arrest call when a caretaker had discovered an elderly female, indicating it appeared she had been cooking when a fire started.

She was pronounced dead at the scene with minimal damage to the house.

"This is the sixth fatality in the state of West Virginia by fire in six days. Since January first, this will make the twelfth fatality," said Jason Baltic, Deputy State Fire Marshal

The victim's body has been sent to a medical examiner.

Another home was totally destroyed after an early morning fire in Harrisville.

The Ritchie County Office of Emergency Management said several fire departments, including Harrisville, responded to a home on Smithville Road around 6 a.m. Wednesday morning.

A family of four lived in the house with two children ages 10 and three.


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