Jackson County

How you can help the family of Latimer woman who died in a house fire

Lela Miller, shown with her husband Ernie, died in a fire that destroyed their home Saturday night. A GoFundMe account has been set up for funeral expenses and to help Ernie with financial and housing needs.
Lela Miller, shown with her husband Ernie, died in a fire that destroyed their home Saturday night. A GoFundMe account has been set up for funeral expenses and to help Ernie with financial and housing needs. GoFundMe

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help raise money for funeral expenses for the victim of a fatal fire and her husband.

Lela Miller, 62, of Latimer, died Saturday night inside her burning home on Theriot Avenue at Dantzler Road. The neighborhood is known as the Virginia City area.

The State Fire Marshals Office is investigating because the fire resulted in a death.

“It appears it’s going to be an accidental fire maybe caused by smoking,” State Chief Deputy Fire Marshal Ricky Davis said Monday.

Miller’s husband Ernie was at work when a motorist saw flames coming from the back of the house and reported it about 8 p.m. Saturday, Jackson County Fire Marshal Jeff Mattison II said.

The fire destroyed the house.

The benefit account on the GoFundMe page is named House Fire and Funeral Expenses.

It is unclear if Lela Miller was asleep or became overwhelmed by smoke and was unable to get out.

Their home was not insured, the GoFundMe page says.

She and her husband enjoyed karaoke and spending time with friends at country-western bars, according to Lela Miller’s Facebook page.

A full-time firefighter and a volunteer firefighter with the Northwest Jackson County Fire Department were injured trying to search the house, according to Mattison. One was hospitalized with burns to his arms.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

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