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74-year-old injured in Henrico house fire dies

Posted at 5:54 AM, Jun 12, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-13 17:44:00-04

SANDSTON, Va. --  Barbara Williamson, the woman critically injured in an eastern Henrico early Friday, has died, her family told CBS 6.   Another man also living in to home, 60 year-old Carlton Sprouse,  died at the hospital, according to Henrico Fire spokesman Capt. Danny Rosenbaum. The man was Barbara's roommate at the house along the 1600 block of Mary Street in Sandston.

Fire crews responded to the home at around 2:30 a.m. when someone inside the house called 911, Rosenbaum said. Firefighters found Barbara and restored her pulse while fighting the house fire. It took about 20 minutes to mark the fire under control.

While the fire chaplain arrived on scene to help firefighters cope with the stress and loss of life, investigators from the fire marshal's office are also at the home working to determine what started the fire.

Barbara had been a cashier and customer service rep at the Food Lion on Mechanicsville Turnpike for more than a decade.

Her supervisor Jennie Ellis described Williamson as a wonderful woman with a heart of gold that would help anybody.


Others who work in this strip mall agreed.

"We are devastated because I was like Barbara -- you know -- it was a shock," said Yolanda Greene, a hair stylist at the Golden Comb salon next door.

"I see her pretty much every day that I work," said Greene. " And she's a nice lady; very nice, very friendly. "We definitely will be praying for her.  Absolutely."

One firefighter suffered a cut to his arm while fighting the fire. He received stitches and was released from the hospital.

Fire officials said the homeowner did not have working smoke detectors. Firefighters found one face up on a desk. According to Henrico Fire Department spokesman Capt. Daniel Rosenbaum, the fire department had properly installed in the smoke detectors back in 2011.

Capt. Rosenbaum said that over the next few days firefighters plan to go out in that neighborhood and make sure that neighbors have working smoke alarms.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, NFPA, the majority of fatalities in residential fires are the result of not having working smoke detectors.

Williamson's family has established a GoFundMe account to fund her funeral. As of Saturday evening, the account had raised $795.

"Barbara Williamson was a loving mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. She had a kind heart and a gentle soul," the page reads. "On  June 12, 2015 in the early morning hours Barbara's house caught fire. Barbara and her roommate were trapped inside and she was able to call for help. Once the fire department arrived on scene they were able get rescue them from the house."