Rockford, Blount County (WVLT) - Forty-four-year-old Angela Collins was pronounced dead inside her home in Rockford just after 9:00 a.m.
As Stephen McLamb reports, Collins' death is hitting neighbors hard.
It's been a tough month for Ethel Robinson.
Last week she lost her husband to illness, and now she’s lost a friend.
"She was a sweet person. I liked her very well,” It’s is a sad day for Ethel Robinson who lost a friend.
Fire officials say they were initially told no one was in the home at 119 Self Hollow Road.
"The trucks got here and we were immediately told there's the possibility of a disabled person inside. Quick entry inside,” says Blount Fire Chief Doug McClanahan.
"When they opened the front door it came gushing out real bad,” says neighbor Dillard Williams. “Real black smoke."
"Knocked a little bit of fire down and immediately found the victim,” McClanahan says.
In the corner of the living room was 44-year-old Angela Bauman Collins.
"She was depressed though, you know, she was tired of being sick,” Ethyl Robinson says Collins could not get around since her stroke several months ago. She says Collins had just gotten some medical attention from ambulance workers that morning. "That puzzled me because they hadn't been gone about thirty minutes when this happened and I'm wondering why they didn't catch it."
Robinson says moments before the fire she got a call from Collins, but wasn't told it was an emergency.
"Did she say there was a fire?” McLamb asks.
“She didn't tell me a fire, no, she just said…she did say ‘I'm in trouble. I need some help,’" Robinson says she soon looked over and saw the smoke coming from the home.
She says Collins was a smoker and wonders if that started the fire.
Blount Sheriff's Department investigators are now trying to determine the exact cause.
Fire officials believe it was an accident.
An autopsy could provide more clues.
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