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Potosi woman dies in apartment fire

A Potosi woman died as result of a fire late Monday night in the 1000 block of Simmental Lane, which is one block outside of the Potosi city limits.

Potosi Fire Assistant Chief Robert Lang said that they were dispatched at 11:30 p.m. and when his department arrived on the scene there was very little flames but heavy smoke pouring out of the apartment.

“It was originally dispatched as a possible rescue, but when we got there it was too late,” said Lang. “It was contained in one room of the apartment and didn’t spread any further. It was just a small fire in the corner of the bedroom and we were able to get it out quickly.”

The fire department was on the scene until about 3 a.m. and departments assisting included Leadwood Fire on the scene and De Soto Rural covering Potosi’s engine house while they were out.

“I believe that the victim was overcome by smoke. The neighbor that lived next door was out of town,” said Lang. “Right now it’s in the hands of the fire marshal’s office and the Washington County Sheriff’s Department.”

Washington County Sheriff’s Department Captain Zach Jacobson said that the State Fire Marshal’s office indicated the cause of the fire is to be left “undetermined” on reports at this point. They believe the fire was started by careless smoking, but they haven’t proven that indubitably as of yet.

“The name of the victim is not being released at this time since all the family has not been notified yet,” said Jacobson Tuesday afternoon. “There was an autopsy scheduled at 1 p.m. and the coroner and fire marshal’s investigator were in attendance during it. We should know more after that is complete. As of right now the investigator from the fire marshal’s office released that there were no obvious signs of trauma to the body.”

It is known the victim was a 67-year-old white female pronounced dead at the scene at 11:50 p.m. by the Washington County coroner.

As of 8:30 p.m., the name was still not being released. 

Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or

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