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Bollinger County woman dies after weekend fire

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

MARBLE HILL, Mo. -- A 74-year-old Bollinger County woman died after a weekend house fire near Scopus, Mo., that also sent her daughter and son-in-law to the hospital, where they have been treated and released.

Shirley Durbin died Saturday at St. John's Mercy Hospital in St. Louis from severe smoke inhalation, said Bollinger County Coroner Charles Hutchings.

Durbin lived with her daughter and son-in-law, Donna and Wayne Long, on County Road 344 near Scopus. Three area fire departments responded to the call at 11:13 p.m. Friday.

Firefighters arrived to find the house fully in flames, said Shane Welker, assistant fire chief of the North Bollinger County Fire District.

"It was already to the ground by the time we got there," Welker said. "The owners said to just let it go, so we stayed until about 4 a.m. to make sure it was out."

Officials said the cause of the fire is still under investigation, though Hutchings said it is believed to have started when Durbin, who was already in poor health, was smoking in bed on oxygen.

The home, described as a manufactured home, was a total loss, fire officials said.

Donna and Wayne were treated and released from a Cape Girardeau hospital. Wayne Long suffered burns to his legs and one hand while trying to get his mother-in-law out of the house, Hutchings said.

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