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Fire that killed west side elderly woman ruled accidental

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Posted at 5:14 PM, Feb 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-20 18:14:55-05

The Corpus Christi Fire Department said a fire that killed a 93-year-old woman in the Molina neighborhood began accidentally.

CCFD Asst. Chief Randy Paige said Thursday that the fire was caused by two overloaded surge protectors under Lorrene Hill's overheated and caught fire.

The fire broke out at around 6:30 p.m. Friday, Valentine's Day morning, on the 900 block of National Drive.

Neighbors said the building actually was a converted storage shed the woman was living in while a new house was built on the property. The victim's husband said she could have moved in to the new home as early as next week.

Neighbors reportedly tried to rescue Hill, but said the flames and smoke forced them back.

“We couldn't get her out,” said Guy Lewis, Hill's across-the-street neighbor. “I tried to go in there, but the smoke . . . I got the door open and I crawled in there, only about 10 feet, then the smoke hit me and knocked me out.”

As another neighbor called 911, Lewis tried to help the woman.

“It's just a sad situation,” he said.