East Texas Woman Dies In House Fire - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/11/07-Smith County

East Texas Woman Dies In House Fire

An East Texas woman dies after being pulled out of her burning home. Investigators say the fire broke out around 11 o'clock Tuesday morning at a house on County Road 2209, just east of Tyler near Chapel Hill.   The woman is identified as homeowner Molly Ferguson, 76, of Smith County.  

Molly Ferguson retired from Chapel Hill High School back in 2000, after almost 40 years of teaching.  Fellow teachers say she was a self-less person who always put others before herself.  

Flames were shooting out of the roof while four fire departments fought the blaze from every corner.  An East Texas woman was rescued by her neighbor and then transported to the hospital.

"I went to the fire and tried to get in the front and didn't get in the front, so I went to the back door and it was locked so I knocked the window out and unlocked it and the lady laying right there at the door," says Lawrence Thompson, Molly's neighbor.

That's when Thompson had to tear the door down to get his neighbor Molly Ferguson out, cutting his hand in the process.

"I'm not a hero. I should have done more....I should have helped get the fire out, but I couldn't get any water, I couldn't get anything," he says.

Fire investigators say the house was fully engulfed when they arrived on scene. Molly suffered severe burns all over her body and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

"She was extensively burned, more like a flash burn," says Smith County Fire Marshal Jim Seaton.

Friends and neighbors were horrified at the site of the burning home.

"Looking at it and you think 'oh this can't be, it can't be.'  It's hard, it's just really hard, it's horrible," says fellow teacher Erlene Bethea.

She taught at Chapel Hill High School with Molly, mother of four.   

"Lovely, gracious lady who did for everybody else but herself and that's the truth...I can't believe I'm looking at this, I can't believe I'm looking at this," Erlene says while staring at the burning home.

Erlene says Molly was well known in the Chapel Hill community, with many friends, who will all be praying for her family during this tragedy.

Fire Marshal Jim Seaton says they haven't determined a cause or origin of the fire. But he says it may have been some sort of explosion.  Seaton says they will be out here tomorrow running some tests.

Tracy Watler, Reporting. tracy@kltv.com

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