Dayton Daily News
DAYTON, Ohio — To Duane Lee Tschanen's way of thinking, the neighbors on East Mumma Avenue lost a staple of the neighborhood Tuesday afternoon when his blind 84-year-old mother lost her life in a house fire.
"You don't have enough time to listen to all the wonderful memories I have of my mom," Tschanen said outside the single-family residence where Dayton firefighters found Artie Mae Housley, already deceased, on the kitchen floor near the stove.
Her walking cane was nearby, Fire Chief Herbert Redden said.
The fire was contained mostly to the kitchen area. He gave no dollar estimate on damage, but said the flames gutted the kitchen, damaged a hallway and burned a staircase a third of the way to the second floor.
"It appears she was in front of the stove area," Redden said. He characterized the fire as small.
Firefighters, dispatched to the address at about 4:30 p.m., found Housley as they performed an aggressive search of the four-bedroom home, Redden said.
Tschanen said his mother, mostly blind her entire life, was completely blind the last 20 years and had lived in the house 50 years.
He said he's not sure what she was doing at the time of the incident.
A fire department arson investigator has ruled that the fire was not suspicious, Redden said. The street, closed to through traffic because of the fire, was reopened at about 7:15 p.m.
An official with the Montgomery County Coroner's Office would not say Tuesday night whether an autopsy had been ordered.
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