London fire claims woman’s life

Press staff report

June 5, 2014

A 71-year-old woman has died following a fire in her London home Thursday morning, according to authorities.

The victim has been identified as Berneice L. VanHoose.

The fire broke out at Devonshire of London apartments off of Elm Street shortly after 6:30 a.m. The London Fire Department was dispatched to the scene on reports of smoke coming from Building H.

A neighbor in an adjacent building first noticed the fire and called 9-1-1, said Lt. Mark Foster of the LFD. The neighbor pounded on doors to wake up the occupants in the building.

The man was later treated for minor smoke inhalation.

Upon arrival, firefighters performed a rescue operation, Foster said. VanHoose was found in her bedroom.

“She made it out of bed but not much farther than that before she was overcome by smoke,” Foster said.

She was taken by Madison County EMS to the Madison County Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

The fire started in the woman’s bedroom, Foster said. The cause remains under investigation.

The fire did not spread to other apartments.

Also responding to the scene were the State Fire Marshal, Central Township Joint Fire District, Madison County Coroner and Jefferson Township Fire Department.