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Friday, 19 September 2014

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Woman dies in Carlisle hospital after house fire

An elderly woman has died in hospital following a house fire.

Gretna house fire photo
The scene of the fire

Martha Carruthers, who was thought to be aged in her eighties, passed away despite the best efforts of medics, who rushed her to Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary.

She had been taken there by ambulance from her home late last night.

Two fire engines were called to the house, in Union Road, Gretna, just after 10pm.

Neighbours today paid tribute to the pensioner as details of the tragedy began to emerge.

One said: “There were flames leaping from the door at the back into the sky. It was like a big fireball.”

Katrina Braidwood, 40, who also lives on Union Road, said: “Martha was a lovely woman. She lived on her own but I think she’d lived in the same house for more than 45 years.

“We all got a bit of a fright when the fire engines arrived last night. It’s frightening for the older folk.”

Another neighbour said: “Martha was a lovely lady. She wasn’t as mobile as she used to be but once you’d met her you never forgot her.

“She had a good sense of humour and she was a real character. She was a nice old soul.

“She noticed everything that was going on but she wasn’t nosy. She had lived on her own since her husband Jack died.”

An investigation into the cause of the fire is underway.

A Dumfries and Galloway police spokesman said: “Unfortunately the woman taken from the house was pronounced dead a short time later on arrival at the Cumberland Infirmary.

“Police and fire personnel are carrying out initial examinations at the house but at this time the cause of the fire is unknown.”

A spokeswoman for Dumfries and Galloway Fire and Rescue Service said: “Two fire engines were called out just after 10pm.

“They were back at the fire station at 1.16am. The cause of the fire is under investigation.”

This morning, two police officers and a police car were guarding the house.

The full investigation was due to start today at 10am.

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