published Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Dade County woman dies in fire

A woman in Rising Fawn, Ga., died Thursday morning in a fire that consumed her house, according to the Dade County sheriff.

Sue McMahan, 65, perished in a blaze that broke out about 6 a.m. at her home at 189 Cloverdale Road, authorities said.

Her husband, Charles, managed to get out of the house but suffered first-degree burns, Sheriff Patrick Cannon said. He was treated at Erlanger hospital and released later Thursday.

The house was a “complete loss,” Cannon said.

Deputies are investigating the cause of the blaze, but Cannon said they do not suspect foul play.

Some family members had expressed concern that Sue McMahan, who used oxygen from a tank, could have started the fire while smoking and using the oxygen at the same time, Cannon said.

“They said it was a normal practice that she smoked with oxygen on,” he said. “It will definitely be looked at as a factor.”

At the very least, Cannon said, oxygen in the home caused the fire to spread more quickly.

“It was a hot fire, and it spread fast,” he said.

Cannon said the last fatal fire in Dade County was two years ago when a propane explosion in a house on Trinity Road in the Piney community killed Ewan Norcross, 3.

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