Woman killed in Whitehaven house fire

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A woman is dead after a fire early Tuesday morning in Whitehaven.

When first responders arrived at the 1600 block of Wilson Road, the house was filled with smoke and flames were located in the living room and a bedroom.

The woman was discovered in the bedroom. Authorities did not identify her pending notification of next of kin.

“I’m not sure what happened. I just know I woke up to a fire,” said Ashanti Goolsby.

Goolsby lives in the home with her boyfriend and a roommate, who she said was disabled due to a stroke.

The couple couldn’t say whether they have a working smoke detector but say smoke and and cries from their roommate woke them up Tuesday morning. They say they tried but couldn’t rescue her.

Goolsby said they tried to use a fire extinguisher but it didn’t work. They had to run to a neighbor’s house to call 911.

“It wasn’t high yet, it was low, so I thought we’d have enough time to get her in her chair,” Goolsby said, “but by the time I made it out it was smoked out and flames flying everywhere.”

Four dogs that were in the house were either dead or unaccounted for.

Officials say the fire was due to careless use of candles in the bedroom.

Goolsby said their utilities had been turned off and the fire was likely started by a candle in her roommate’s bedroom.

Dodie Copeland, a friend of the victim, said she left her three dogs at the house earlier to get more propane tanks for their heater. She said her friend was supposed to move in with her at the end of the month.

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