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Woman found dead in home days after fire put out

By Brittany Nicholson
By bnicholson@wbbjtv.com

UPDATE: Henderson County Sheriff's Department confirms the woman found in the home was Pamela Lee, 51.

HENDERSON COUNTY, Tenn. -- A woman is found dead inside her burned home days after the flames go out.

The State Bomb and Arson Squad and the Henderson County Sheriff's Department are investigating the 51-year-old woman's cause of death and the cause of the fire.

Monday, crews spent the day boarding up the home's windows and doors. Caution and bio hazard tapes are tied around the house.

Neighbors like Margie Scott said she is horrified it took days before anyone knew a woman was inside the rubble.

"I didn't know anything about it. I was surprised to hear something like that was going on around here," Scott said.

On Saturday, Henderson County deputies went to the secluded home off Ramblewood Road after a friend called and asked deputies to check on the homeowner. One deputy said the first thing he noticed was that a window was broken. He looked in and realized the inside was burned.

"He searches different rooms and sees the whole house is smoked up, soot everywhere and when he got to the bedroom, he found the deceased on the floor," Captain Tracey Grisham with the Henderson County Sheriff's Department said.

Capt. Grisham said their investigation told them the woman had been dead for at least three days and the fire put itself out. He said most of the house only has smoke damage.

"The fire more or less was smothered out due to lack of oxygen from what it appears," Capt. Grisham said.

Investigators are not releasing many details, such as if the woman died as a result of the fire. Her cause of death and the cause of the fire are under investigation. Capt. Grisham said even the closest neighbors, 300 yards away, would have no way of knowing the house was on fire.

"No visible signs from the outside unless you're right at the window looking to even tell it had been burned," Capt. Grisham said.

Investigators said they will release the victim's name as soon as they are able to notify the family.
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