Bedridden Woman Dies in Fire in Lackawanna County

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DALTON -- A bedridden woman has died after her home went up in flames early Thursday morning.

According to the coroner, Kathryn Potts, 72, could not escape the flames at the home on Lily Lake Road in Dalton.

Potts lived in a basement apartment in the home which was leveled by flames after midnight.

Police tell us they were responding to a 911 hang up call when they discovered the fire. Firefighters quickly followed.

"Unfortunately, there was just nothing that we could do early on to make a rescue, just a bad situation all the way around," said Dalton's Assistant Fire Chief Ron Stacknick

Stacknick says strong winds made it even more difficult for firefighters to get inside.

They found Potts' body in a basement bedroom where firefighters feared she might be.

"We were there several times over the winter assisting with some lifts when she had fallen, so we knew we, if a tragedy like this would strike, we were, we had an idea of what we needed to do but it just wasn't to be last night."

Another woman who lived in the home, who friends say was Potts' longtime partner, was next door with family at the time of the fire. She was not hurt.

Kathy Potts had trouble moving around and was on oxygen.

This is what firefighters call a worst case scenario.

"We, just like everybody else in the emergency services in this area and across the country, we talk amongst ourselves about it. That gives a little bit of relief and comfort. We actually, from the scene last night, I contacted the DA's office to have counselors come up," said Stacknick.

 

We do not know yet what caused the fire. The property has been taped off. Dalton police are investigating and state police fire marshals have been called in to figure out a cause.