FIRE MARSHAL: Woman Died Lighting Candle For Late Husband

Fire officials say an elderly woman died while she was trying to light a candle in memory of her late husband.

Carteret County fire marshal Ben Barnett says the death of Joyce Merrell was an accident.

A memorial service will be held Friday for the 71-year-old Morehead City woman who died from burns on Monday.

Merrell died at the burn center in Chapel Hill after she called 911 Sunday afternoon saying she was on fire at her Shore Drive home. Firefighters found the 71-year-old woman with significant burns and she was airlifted to Chapel Hill.

Fire chief Wes Lail says the fire was limited to the woman and her clothes. He said standard protocol is to call the SBI in to investigate the fire fatality.

Merrell's memorial service will be Friday at 2:00 p.m. at Munden Funeral Home in Morehead City.

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