Woman died from smoke inhalation in Westchester Drive fire


Firefighter battle a deadly blaze on Westchester Drice on Dec. 5, 2020

By Joe Johnson

The woman whose body was found Dec. 5 in an Athens apartment that was destroyed by fire has yet to be positively identified.

However, an autopsy determined that the white adult female died from smoke inhalation from a fire that the state Fire Marshal’s Office determined was caused by food left on the kitchen stove, according to Athens-Clarke County police Capt. Christopher Nichols, commanding officer of the Criminal Investigations Division.

Clarke County Coroner Sonny Wilson previously said that although officials tentatively knew who the victim might have been, her body was so badly damaged that forensic examination at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was needed to get a positive identification.

“We won’t confirm her identity until we have some confirmation with dental records or DNA,” Nichols said.

The blaze not only destroyed the apartment in the 300 block of Westchester Drive but also damaged neighboring apartments.

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