A woman died Saturday night in a mobile home fire in Traphill.
She was identified as Peggy Jean Gammon, 73, of 2392 Shepherds X Road.
A neighbor reported the fire about 8 p.m. Saturday, said Niki Hamby, fire investigator with the Wilkes Sheriff’s Office. Firefighters reported that the older model, single wide mobile home was burning from end to end and was engulfed in flames when they arrived.
Hamby said Gammon had an oxygen generator “and probably was attempting to smoke or was smoking.” He said this is believed to have caused oxygen tanks in the mobile home to explode, as well as the fire.
He said firefighters reported hearing a couple of small explosions in the fire and three or four oxygen bottles were found on the scene.
Gammon had COPD, had been treated for cancer and was weak after returning home from a hospital earlier Saturday, he added.
Firefighters found her badly-burned body on the same bed or sofa in a bedroom where she was lying when a relative left the mobile home to go to a store, said Hamby, adding that the fire was reported soon after the relative left.
Hamby said an autopsy will be conducted Monday.
The mobile home, rented from a neighbor, was destroyed, he added. The neighbor is Garvey Eugene Pruitt, who is the person who reported the fire.
The fire was in the Traphill Fire District, near where it borders the Shepherds Crossroads District.
The Traphill, Shepherds Crossroads, Austin and Mountain View fire departments, as well as the Wilkes Rescue Squad and Wilkes Sheriff’s Office, were dispatched. Wilkes Sheriff Chris Shew, Det. Tim Pardue of the sheriff’s office and fire investigators from the State Bureau of Investigation and the state fire marshal’s office were also on the scene.
There have been two other fatal mobile home fires in that section of Wilkes since early 2018. In early March 2018, a 52-year-old man lost his life in a mobile home fire on Highland Place, which is off South Lomax Road in the Shepherds Crossroads District. In early January of this year, a 78-year-old man lost his life in a mobile home fire on Annie Sophia Lane in Shepherds Crossroads.