Woman killed in Fayetteville house fire

Monday, November 24, 2014
Woman killed in Fayetteville house fire
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It happened around 6:15 a.m. Sunday the 920 block of Washington Drive.

FAYETTEVILLE (WTVD) -- A Fayetteville woman is dead after flames tore through her home Sunday morning. On Monday, authorities confirmed the fire was electrical in nature, but say the "specific ignition factor remains undetermined at this time."

The fire broke out around 6:15 a.m. in the 900 block of Washington Drive.

"The fire was very thick and fierce, coming out the front of the house," said a neighbor who did not want to be identified. "You could feel the heat in my house from the flames."

Firefighters say when the home went up in flames two people were inside. Neighbors told ABC11, initially, both people did get out but for some reason the woman went back in and never came out.

Search crews say when they found the 56-year-old Loretta Archer inside she was suffering from cardiac arrest.

She was transported to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center where she later died.

Archer lived in the home with one other person.

ABC11 spoke to a woman who says her aunt used to live in the home, but moved out six months ago, after complaining about electrical issues for more than two years.

She said her aunt experienced unusually high electric bills - sometimes reaching $700 a month.

"It's horrific to see this. I'm just heartbroken to see this, nobody did nothing, this could have been prevented," said Deborah Lowery. "I truly believe someone is at fault for this, because she complained every month, she could not afford this house with the light bill. Somebody should be responsible for this death."

ABC11 reached out to the landlord of the property, George Simmons. He said the home suffered flooding about six or seven months ago, he wasn't sure of the timeline. He said the City of Fayetteville shut down the home to inspect it and then cleared it. Simmons said if it did have any electrical issues he was not aware.

ABC11 also reached out to the Fayetteville Public Works Commission for information on electrical issues in the home. On Monday they responded in an email with, "usage at this home has not been unusually high for the last year. There have been no reports or inquiries regarding this address in the past year."

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