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Friday July 31st, 2015 9:28AM

Gainesville fire victim identified

By Derreck Booth, B.J. Williams
GAINESVILLE - Authorities have released the identity of a Gainesville woman who died after she was found in a burning house off Pearl Nix Parkway Thursday.

A spokesman for the Hall County coroner identified the victim as 48-year-old Denise Salazar. The exact cause of death remains under investigation.

Hall County Fire Marshal Scott Cagle said Thursday that Salazar was found in a basement apartment of the house on Westside Drive. She was taken by ambulance to Northeast Georgia Medical Center, where she died early Thursday evening.

Cagle said Gainesville firefighters arrived on the scene first.

"Gainesville firefighters did enter the structure and got a pretty quick knock down on the fire and did find one female subject inside," Cagle said.

City firefighters responded because the house is in an area part of an automatic aid agreement.

Cagle said Friday morning the exact cause of the fire is still under investigation and information likely would not be released until Monday or Tuesday of next week.

Cagle said American Red Cross workers were assisting four upstairs residents, displaced by the fire. They all escaped injury. He said smoke and fire damage extended into the first floor.

Cagle said investigators remained on scene into the evening looking for the cause of the blaze. An autopsy was expected Friday to confirm the exact cause of death.

While he said he'd have to check records, Cagle believes the blaze is the first fire-related death in the county in two years.

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