Elderly woman dies in early morning fire
An early morning fire in the Pilot community claimed the life of an elderly woman and left another victim suffering serious burns.
According to Larry James, director of Davidson County Emergency Services, Pilot Fire Department on Monday morning at approximately 6:15 a.m. responded to a residential fire at 465 Rich HIlton Road. Firefighters arrived and found one person, described by James as a middle-aged woman, outside the residence with burn injuries. Once firefighters got the blaze under the control, James said another person, believed to be an elderly woman, was found deceased inside the home.
"There was a single residential structure on fire," James said. "One person was partially outside the residence, either pulled out by firefighters or bystanders, I'm not sure which. The other victim was still inside the residence. Both were females, but their identities are not yet confirmed."
James said emergency responders transported the survivor to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. The woman's identity has yet to be released, but James said she is suffering from "critical burns." The body of the victim was sent to Raleigh for positive identification.
According to Terry Shelton, the victim is 80-year-old Betty Hilton. Shelton is Hilton's nephew and he said she lived at the home for many years.
"We're still completing the investigation as we speak," James said. "Right now, it appears the fire was accidental. We're still completing the investigation as we speak. We have an idea who [the fatality] is but we just want to be sure."
James said the house appears to be a total loss.
Midway, Wallburg and Hasty fire departments also responded to the scene, and had the fire under control by approximately 6:40 a.m.
Staff Writer Eliot Duke can be reached at 888-3578, or firstname.lastname@example.org.