LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- An early morning fire in West Louisville killed one woman Sunday.
Smoke and fire consumed the home of Vernice Aniton on the 1200 block of Cypress Street.
The 64-year-old woman, who lived alone, never made it out alive.
“It is very hard because, even though she is my sister-in-law she was like my best friend,” Karen Southerling said.
Firefighters were at the scene around 5:00 a.m.
Emergency crews swarmed Cypress and Dumesnil Streets with personnel and equipment, but Aniton was already dead when they arrived.
Her body was later found in her bedroom.
The fire was fully contained as the morning sun rose.
What were left were charred remains of a place Aniton called home for the past eight years.
Her brother Darrell Aniton, is Director of Youth Development for Louisville Metro Government.
“It is hard to see something like this happen,” Darrell Aniton said. “Especially when I look across and look into the house and know what happened to her. It’s difficult.”
Her family and friends stood across the street in disbelief from where she lived throughout the morning Sunday as Louisville Fire Department arson investigators canvassed the damaged home.
“She was a very likable person,” Southerling said. “And a lot of people know her. I do not know of any enemies that she had.”
“She is just a kind gentle person who always cared so much about everybody else,” Darrell Aniton said. “She is just a great person.”
Fire investigators don't know the cause of the fire. But flames were found on the outside of the house, which they say is unusual because the fire normally stays contained to inside. They also say it is too early to tell if arson was a factor.
Aniton’s name may sound familiar.
In October of last year, she was arrested and charged with criminal abuse.
Police say she hit a small child in the head at a daycare center.
Aniton was employed at the Excellence in Learning 2 Day Care on Crums Lane.
A manager called Child Protective Services after a small boy threw a rag at Aniton and she slapped him.
The child was treated at Kosair Children’s Hospital.