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Morristown woman died of heart attack before fire

Staff Report • Dec 22, 2009 at 12:00 AM

MORRISTOWN — A woman whose body was pulled from her burned apartment last week had died of a heart attack prior to the blaze, a coroner said today.

A neighbor in the Townview apartments building who tried to rescue the woman Dec. 15 from her burning apartment remains today in critical condition at a Nashville burn center.

Hamblen County Coroner Eddie Davis said 70-year-old Betty Jo Rathbone died in a recliner in her apartment from heart disease before the fire ignited. “She was dead before the fire,” Davis said. “There was no soot in her air passages and no carbon monoxide in her blood, which tells me she did not breathe in any smoke.”

read the full report at the Knoxville News Sentinel Web site.

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