Choctaw Co. Senior Citizen Found Dead After Home Burns - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Choctaw Co. Senior Citizen Found Dead After Home Burns

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CHOCTAW COUNTY, OK -- Relatives are stunned after a senior citizen was found dead in her home, and firefighters were shocked to discover someone was inside.

Boswell firefighters say they didn't know what to expect when they were called out on Friday around 9 a.m.

"The initial call was a car in a garage on fire, but when we got there, the house was fully engulfed," says Fire Chief Paul Green.

They went into defensive mode for about 20 minutes at the home on county road 4000. "Somebody came up and I can't remember who and said, 'Is the woman home?' and I said, 'What woman?'" says Green.

Two neighbors got on the phone after noticing smoke and they say they realized the woman's car was there, and phoned a niece in Texarkana to find out if the woman might be away.

"The house was already down and we was around it, we was pulling. It had a metal roof we had to take pieces of that off," says Green.

Green says they found the body on the floor near the kitchen.

"I just can't believe she went this way, it just don't seem possible," says Dimitria Moore, who is missing her great-aunt. "She was just a good woman, she was there when I was growing up."

Relatives say Judith Perry, 81, worked for the Choctaw Nation's elderly services in Durant and Hugo even surviving a car accident a few years ago, on the way to work.

"It's a shock," says Leroy Redfearn, who is missing his great-aunt.

"When my great-grandmother was alive, they lived here together and she took care of her until she passed away and then she lived here by herself since probably '84," says Moore.

It's rare for volunteer firefighters in Boswell to work a fire where there is a fatality, and Green says it was hard for them to deal with.

"It's nothing you get over in 5 minutes," says Green. "Some of the guys yesterday on the fire,  that's the first one they'd ever seen. We really had to talk with them and stuff like that. I've been on a few -- car wrecks."

"I used to live with my grandmother on this property and that was when I was 8 years old. I'm 65 now," says Redfearn, arriving at the home on Saturday.

Green says he noticed at least 6 space heaters inside, but it's unclear whether they were working because they burned up. Soper firefighters assisted and the State Fire Marshal's Office is investigating the cause.