Albany woman's mysterious death investigated -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Albany woman's mysterious death investigated

By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –An investigation is underway into the death of an Albany woman, who was seriously burned by a fire in her home 11 days ago.

Firefighters were never notified about the fire or her injuries, until she died two days ago.

An autopsy has been done, and authorities are awaiting those results.

Meanwhile Albany Fire Fighters, Coroner's Office, and Albany Police are investigating her death, to answer what they call a lot of questions.

40 year old Flora Hoskins died at her niece's home Monday morning. Coroner Emma Quimbley discovered that Hoskin's had suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns November 13th, and had been treated at the Augusta Burn Center.  But then was shocked to learn no one had any record of the fire.

40 year old Flora Hoskins was well liked by her neighbors at 515 North Washington Street. Corrine Cote liked to sit with Hoskins on their front porch. But Cote said Hoskins had trouble staying warm.

Cote said "She was very cold because of her health problems. When you are a diabetic, you know you are very cold. You can't stay warm."

Investigators say the evening of November 13th Hoskins' boyfriend called paramedics, because she had been burned when her clothes caught on fire.

Hoskins' niece Kennetha Macon said "Said that she backed up into the heater. Standing too close to her gas heater, and she caught afire. And didn't feel it until it got to her neck."

An ambulance took Hoskins' to Phoebe Putney Hospital, and she was then transferred to the Augusta Burn Center. She was discharged November 20th, and died on the 22nd at her niece's home.

Following her death, Coroner Emma Quimbley was surprised to learn firefighters had never been notified about her burns.

Fire Chief James Carswell said "We've got a lot of unanswered questions at this point. Obviously we know there was an injury due to burns back on the 13th, and we know she passed away a couple of days ago. We don't really know what happened in between."

Fire investigators say Hoskins' apartment has no fire damage, so the fire must have been confined to her clothes. Her family said Hoskins' did not say much about the fire in her last days.

Macon said "She didn't want to move too much because of the pain. The aches and the pain. So we just basically tried to keep her calm, keep her relaxed, and keep her smiling."

An autopsy was performed at the GBI Crime Lab in Macon, and Investigators are awaiting results to see if Hoskins' burns caused her death.

Hoskins' family said they welcome the investigation to give them closure. The family is coming from Worth County and Florida, for Flora Hoskins' funeral Saturday.

Investigators say they probably will not get any autopsy reports until next week because of the Thanksgiving Holiday. There have been no fire deaths in Albany this year.   Officials are waiting those reports to see if Flora Hoskins is the first.

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