ALBANY, GA (WALB) - After an investigation overnight Monday, fire officials have concluded that the woman who was found dead after a house fire in Albany actually died before the fire.
The Dougherty County Coroner said Debra Lynn Watson, 67, died of natural causes at some point during the night while smoking a cigarette.
According to officials with the Albany Fire Department, after she died, the cigarette fell to the couch, starting the fire.
Albany fire crews responded to the scene of a fire in the 1500 block of Dawson Road just after 10 p.m.
According to firefighters, there wasn't extensive damage to the quadruplex apartment where the fire started.
Fire officials said this was because the woman's neighbors used a garden hose to try to combat the fire through a side window.
"They acted so fast and by doing that they literally saved the apartment, they tried to save this human being. They did everything they could. It was a great team effort," said Investigator Sam Harris with the Albany Fire Department.
He estimates the apartment sustained $4,000 worth of damage.