Coroner releases identity of woman killed in fire on S. 9th Street


by Amy Stallings and Brittany Gonzalez

Posted on November 12, 2013 at 6:21 AM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 20 at 5:20 PM

9th Street house fire

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A fire has claimed the life of a woman, who has been identified as Mary Gipson, who lived in an apartment at a home on the 1500 block of S. 9th Street.

The coroner said preliminary autopsy results show 45-year-old Gipson died of smoke inhalation.

The fire broke out just after 3 a.m. Tuesday in the bedroom of an upstairs unit. It took crews about 15 minutes to put the fire out. Firefighters said they found Gipson lying on the floor of the bedroom.

WHAS11's Brittany Gonzalez talked with a neighbor who told her Gipson lived in the apartment with her two dogs. At the time, he said firefighters found only one dog, but the second dog was later found alive hiding under the bed.

One resident said he and his roommate heard a smoke detector go off around 2 a.m.and it went off for a while which raised concerns.

"After about an hour we started getting concerned so we started sniffing around... couldn't smell anything downstairs. Next thing I know somebody is pounding on the front door saying the building is on fire," Dwight Sherlock, who lives in the building, said.
Nearly a dozen tenants were evacuated from the apartment building. Firefighters said the other units sustained minimal damage and the Red Cross was at the scene and is helping some of the residents.

Spokesman for the Louisville Fire Department, Sal Melendez, said the building did have working smoke detectors. However it is unclear at this time if the smoke alarm closest to the victim's bedroom worked because it melted during the blaze. Investigators will look into whether or not the detector functioned properly.


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