Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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March 26, 2014

Fire claims woman in her EC home — A weekend afternoon turned tragic as a woman living in a rural area near Elmore City perished in a house fire Saturday.

Killed in the residential fire was 64-year-old Nelda Shreve.

Shreve was apparently alone in the house a few miles southwest of Elmore City when the fire broke out, which officials later ruled as accidental.

Garvin County Sheriff Larry Rhodes said the fire call went out just before 2 p.m. Saturday.

“Firefighters at the scene reporting finding a lady deceased inside the residence,” Rhodes said.

“It looks like she passed away from the burns from the fire itself,” he said.

“The house is where she lived, along with her son who was at work at the time of the fire.”

Joining the sheriff’s office here with the fire’s investigation afterwards were the offices of the state fire marshal and state medical examiner.

“The preliminary medical examiner’s report concluded the fire was accidental,” Rhodes said. “The thought is her oxygen tank might have ignited from an open flame or possibly a cigarette.

“There is nothing to indicate it was anything but an accidental fire.”

Few details are available but an 89-year-old Elmore City man, described as an acquaintance, was also at the scene after his attempt to help Shreve was unsuccessful when he was overcome by the smoke inside.

“He was in the house trying to help her and put the fire out,” Rhodes said.

Tragically he was unable to do either as the smoke became too much for him as he was forced to retreat outside.

“He was overcome by the smoke and got out of the house.”

Firefighters at the scene minutes later reported the man was conscious but barely able to speak.

He was later airlifted with smoke inhalation injuries to a hospital in Norman. His name or condition have not been released.

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