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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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Ginger Location: Bath on Oct 2, 2009 at 12:45 PM
    Very sad but on the bright side maybe she now is with her husband.
  • by OutsideLookingIn Location: ENC on Oct 1, 2009 at 01:25 PM
    God bless her. Its sad that she didn't have someone to help her light the candle, or provide one that uses only batteries, or LED. I wish more Seniors knew the alternatives to candles, in fact, more people need to know that candles are very dangerous, unless in a fire-proof globe or holder. Pretty to look at, dangerous to leave alone.
  • by Moma Location: NC on Oct 1, 2009 at 08:16 AM
    This is so sad. It breaks my heart to hear this. Prayers go out to the family.
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