Police & Fire

Home explosion kills Kirby woman

By JOE MAY | The Southern Standard

A Kirby woman was killed in an apparent explosion at her home Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023.

According to Pike County Sheriff Travis Hill, authorities were dispatched to the Chambers Road home of Mary Lou Anderson, 73, in response to an explosion. Hill said a neighbor heard a loud explosion and saw that Anderson’s mobile home was on fire. He ran to the residence in an attempt to rescue her, but was unsuccessful as the home was fully engulfed.

Authorities found Anderson’s body in the home after firemen extinguished the flames. The remains were sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for autopsy, as is standard in such cases. The sheriff said that due to backlog at the crime lab, it could be several months before local officials have an exact cause of death.

Hill stated that the victim was on oxygen and was known to smoke and have open-flame heat in her house. He said that officials believe that an oxygen leak may have triggered the explosion.

The sheriff said the victim lived alone. The mobile home was totally destroyed in the blaze.

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