GAINESVILLE - A working smoke detector may have led to a different outcome when fire struck an Oakwood condominium last week killing a 53-year-old woman who was apparently asleep at the time.
Hall County Fire Marshal Scott Cagle says the battery in the smoke detector in Donna Alexander's Township Commons home had been disconnected.
Cagle says Alexander may very well have survived the fire had the smoke detector been working because "it's obvious she got up and tried to escape."
Cagle added "of course, we have no way of knowing who disconnected the smoke detector, whether it was Ms. Alexander or the previous tenant."
Alexander died of smoke inhalation during the fire which began in a sofa apparently from a discarded cigarette. Her body was found late Friday morning but the fire appears to have occurred during the night and was confined to the sofa where it "burned itself out," according to Hall County Fire Chief David Kimbrell.