Woman apparently died trying to flee fire

An 82-year-old woman was found dead in her Chehalis home Saturday, more than a day after a fire broke out in a four-plex on Southwest Second Street.

The woman appeared to have been dead for up to 36 hours and the fire was out by the time law enforcement found the woman, said Chehalis Fire Investigator Derrick Paul.

Paul arrived at the home at 222 S.W. Second St. at 11 a.m. Saturday. He said the woman was found near the front door of the home and that it appeared she was trying to escape the fire when she died.

Chehalis Police responded to a call from a neighbor who spotted smoke stains and blackened windows on the home Saturday, Paul said.

The woman’s name has not been released as the Lewis County Coroner’s Office is still attempting to contact her family, Deputy Coroner Carmen Brunton said Monday.

Paul said he is still investigating the cause of the fire, though it does not appear to be suspicious or intentional. He said there were no smoke detectors in the home. The fire gutted one room and caused heavy heat and smoke damage throughout the rest of the unit, but did not spread to the three other units of the building.

Paul said the fire would have created a deadly atmosphere of hot gases and smoke that would make breathing impossible. He said a lack of oxygen probably caused the fire to subside on its own.