Mitchell Woman Dies in House Fire Thursday

by Staff on November 9, 2012

in Local

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A fatal house fire claimed the life of a Mitchell woman Thursday afternoon. Officials are not releasing the name of the victim pending a positive identification, however, sources identified the deceased as Dalenia Truesdel, 53, of Mitchell.

“Her husband was pulling into the driveway when he noticed smoke coming from the roof area. He attempted to enter the home, but was overcome with heavy smoke and intense heat and was not able to get to her.” — Tyler Duncan, Mitchell Volunteer Fire Department Chief.

Andy Truesdel ran to the home of Mitchell Police Department Chief Mike Hardman, who lives across the street. Chief Hardman alerted the police department and firefighters were dispatched to the fire at 1119 W Warren Street.

“Flames were shooting out of the top of the house” when the first of the fire crew arrived only six minutes later, according to the police department log.

Firefighters battled thick black smoke to gain entry to the home to search for the woman, who was the only person inside when the fire began. At 5:36 p.m., Hardman requested that dispatchers notify both the State Fire Marshal’s Office and the coroner.

Mitchell Volunteer Fire Department had seven men and three fire trucks on the scene to fight the blaze.

“The home was fully involved, flames were shooting out the roof, but we were able to get it knocked down pretty quick. The house is destroyed. There is just not much left.” — Asst. Chief Joe Duncan

The fire department remained on the scene until 8:48 p.m.

An autopsy is scheduled for Friday morning.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.


Lawrence County Coroner John Sherrill has positively identified the victim and determined the cause of death to be smoke inhalation and heat exposure.

The State Fire Marshal determined that the fire started in the kitchen. Truesdel was found in the living room adjacent to the kitchen.

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