Woman burned in fire in fair condition
Kerry Craig | News-Telegram Assistant Editor

July 7, 2006 -- A Sulphur Springs woman who sustained serious burns escaping from her burning home Tuesday was reported to be in slightly improved condition at a Dallas hospital late Thursday.

Deborah Smith, 45, was listed in fair condition at Dallas Parkland Hospital, according to hospital spokesman Robert Behrens.

Smith was burned over 12 percent of her body, primarily her arms and legs, after she discovered her Houston Street home was on fire just before 2 a.m. Tuesday.

Sulphur Springs Fire Chief Gerry Cleaver credited Smith with getting another person, Harold Barrett, to safety before the frame home was consumed by the fire.

"She was the one that actually discovered the fire and smoke and got the other person in the house awake and outside," he said after the fire.

Cleaver said investigators have been on the scene every day since the fire, sifting through rubble and ashes in an attempt to determine the cause of the blaze, which he said appeared to have started in a front bedroom.

"The exact cause has still not been determined, and our investigation is continuing," the fire chief said.

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