Elderly Hull woman killed in house fire

A house fire in Hull claimed the life of an elderly woman Sunday night. (Photo courtesy of Liberty County ESD 2/Hull-Daisetta Fire and Rescue)

An elderly Hull woman was killed Sunday night when her house caught on fire and she was unable to escape.

The fire was reported to authorities around 7:04 p.m. at 295 CR 2043 in Hull. When firefighters arrived, they found the structure fully engulfed in flames.

Family members of the elderly woman were on the scene and reported that they believed she was still in the house, according to Liberty County Fire Marshal Bill Hergemueller.

Nat Holcomb, Jesse McGraw and Bill Hergemueller investigate a house fire that claimed the life of an elderly woman Sunday night. Hergemueller, the fire marshal for Liberty County, believes the fire originated in the front part of the house.

“We finally got the fire under control around 10:30 or 11 p.m. and started looking for her. We found her body at 1:27 a.m. about four feet from the back door,” the fire marshal said. On Monday, during his investigation, Hergemueller revised that to her being approximately six feet from the back door.

The elderly woman – identified as Lilly Merle Johnson – was in her 90s and lived with a female relative, who was not home at the time the fire started.

“They had left about 30 minutes earlier to go to town and returned to find the house on fire,” Hergemueller said.

According to Chief Benny Carroll with Liberty County ESD 2/Hull-Daisetta Fire and Rescue, firefighters from Hardin, Batson and Saratoga assisted at the scene. Liberty County Hazmat was called to help refill air bottles for the firefighters and to provide lighting and other assistance.

The fire originated in the front of the wood-framed house near a front porch. Hergemueller believes the fire may have been caused by a heat lamp or electrical problems. The fire is still under investigation.

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