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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Woman dies in Depot Street fire

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Firefighters prepare to enter a burning home on Depot Street late Saturday night.
(T-G Photo by David Melson)
A Depot Street woman died in her home's burning bedroom late Satuday night.

Officials identified the victim as Freida Fuston, 70, whom neighbors said had been living in the home for approximately three years.

Fuston, whom neighbors and family members said was disabled and used an electric wheelchair, also known as a power chair, called 911 at 11:13 p.m. saying she was in her bedroom and couldn't get out, police said.

A Shelbyville firefighter is framed by the window of the bedroom in which Freida Fuston died Saturday night.
(T-G Photo by David Melson)
She is believed to have died of smoke inhalation, Detective Sam Jacobs said.

The fire originated in the bedroom in the area of the power chair, Assistant Chief Brian Nicholson of the Shelbyville Fire Department and Jacobs said. She was not in the power chair at the time, they said.

The power chair is possibly the source of the fire, but investigators said further investigation is needed. They were planning to contact the chair's manufacturer Monday.

Police officers Sgt. Charles Merlo and officer Darrell Birdsong were first on the scene. Merlo said they attempted to gain entry but were unable due to flames coming from the bedroom window and smoke from other windows.

Conditions were "deteriorating" when firefighters arrived, Nicholson said, and Fuston was removed from the home on their second attempt.

Foul play is not suspected, officials said.