Wheelchair-bound woman dies in Reidsville house fire

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REIDSVILLE, N.C. -- A handicapped woman in a wheelchair died early Tuesday morning after a fire broke out in her mobile home on Lawsonville Avenue.

"I screamed her name, my husband screamed her name to see if she could hear us," said neighbor April Carter.

Around 1:27 am, Reidsville firefighters say the fire started in front of the home in the kitchen on the stove top.

Officials haven't released the victim's name yet, but those who live nearby are in shock. Neighbor James Nix lives just a few feet away and called 911 after hearing the windows in the home break.

"I opened the door," Nix said. "I saw the flames."

Officials don't know exactly how the fire started, but say the victim may have been using the stove for extra heat.

"There's no way we can determine whether or not the stove was being utilized for cooking or for an additional source of heat in the home," said Reidsville Fire Marshall Jay Harris.

But Nix said just a few days ago, the victim complained about her home not being warm enough.

"I saw her one day and she said it was real cold in there," he said. "It was hard to keep it warm."

Nix and the other neighbors describe the woman as quiet. Because of her disability, neighbors would often help run errands.

It's a loss residents say is hitting the area hard.

"She was a very nice lady," Carter said.

"I'm just very sorry that that had to happen," Nix said.