Crime

Gulfport woman dies in fire that started from food left cooking on the stove

A 50-year-old Gulfport woman died of smoke inhalation after trying to protect herself from a fire in her home, officials said.

Firefighters found Sandra Beverly unresponsive in her back bedroom early Monday after responding to a neighbor’s report of fire in the 1900 block of 42nd Avenue, Chief Deputy Coroner Brian Switzer said.

Beverly’s husband also lives there, but was not home when the fire started, Switzer said.

The fire started from food left cooking on the stove, Fire Chief Mike Beyerstedt said.

A neighbor called for help about 1:30 a.m. in the neighborhood between 19th and 20th streets.

A long panel of wide windows give a view inside the kitchen, Beyerstedt said. Firefighters could see the flames through the windows, he said.

The neighbor told firefighters the residents could be inside, and firefighters saw cars parked outside of the residence.

“We went into attack mode,” Beyerstedt said. “One crew went in the house to find the residents and the other started fighting the fire.”

American Medical Response took Beverly to Memorial Hospital at Gulfport. She was pronounced dead at the hospital.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to the Beverly family,” Beyerstedt said.

“Kitchen fires are the number one cause of house fires in Gulfport. Unfortunately, this time it ended in a tragedy,” Byerstedt said.

“I don’t think she had much time to react by the time she woke up and smelled smoke.”

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

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