Fire Kills 95-Year-Old Woman

Not much is left of Mimmie Lockhart Smith's Madison Park Home. Her son made it out, but the 95 year old lost her life when her house went up in flames. "It took 30 minutes to get it under control," said Fire Investigator Larry Coleman.

Coleman says it's still not clear what started the fire, but believes a homeless man trying to stay warm caused the fire at a home on Highway 231.  Coleman says homeless people often, "start small fires to stay warm."

Trying to stay warm, Coleman says, is what starts a lot of fires in the winter time. He says, "We know when it gets cold our chances of going to a fire are greater."

Here are some tips to keep warm and keep safe: If you use a portable heater, be sure to keep all combustibles such as papers and books away from the heater. Also for electrical heaters, don't overload your electrical system by using multiple extension cords. Finally, don't use your kitchen ovens to heat your home. "It's not a smart way to stay warm.," Coleman says.

The State Fire Marshal's office say just last year it worked more than 60 fatal fires in Alabama. That doesn't include fire fatalities in cities that investigate its own blazes like Montgomery and Prattville.