A north Macon woman died Thursday from a fire that apparently started in her basement apartment, officials said.
Joan Golden, 50, of 1011 Avenue of Pines off Riverview Road, was pronounced dead at 5:03 p.m. at The Medical Center of Central Georgia, where she was taken for smoke inhalation and burns, Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones said. Jones said an autopsy would be performed this morning.
Officials said the fire was called in at 3:52 p.m. when Cassandra Jones, a resident at the house, arrived with her daughter and noticed smoke coming from the basement, where Golden lived in a separate apartment.
Quardulia Dudley, Jones’ daughter, said her mother opened a connecting door to the apartment and saw flames.
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“All that plastic that (Golden) had down there must have burned,” Dudley said. “It all got into the kitchen. It’s terrible.”
Dudley and Jones managed to get out of the house and ran across the street to the house of Rick Wolverton, an off-duty Macon police officer.
“I was lying down when I heard knocking and pounding on my door,” he said.
“They were saying, ‘The house is on fire!’ I called it in to the fire department on my radio.”
The first unit arrived on the scene within five minutes. Golden was taken to the hospital, but she died from her injuries.
Firefighters battled the flames for nearly two hours through heavy smoke, and several of them needed time to recover from heat exhaustion because of the fire and outdoor temperatures in the upper 80s.
Assistant Fire Chief Cliff Rushin said the fire started in the basement, but the cause is still under investigation.
To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.