Victim ID'd, cause of death in Lithonia house fire - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Victim ID'd, cause of death in Lithonia house fire

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LITHONIA, Ga. -

Authorities say a 52-year-old woman died in fire at her DeKalb County home on Monday.

Crews were dispatched to the home on Timor Trail in Lithonia just before 3 p.m.

The victim -- Natalie Porter -- was trapped inside as flames overtook her home. She was found unresponsive in her bedroom, according to the DeKalb County Fire Department. Her name has not been released.

Neighbors say Porter was beloved in the community.  Family friend Lovely Watkins described her as a mother figure who liked to help everyone that she could.

"She was one of the sweetest persons," Watkins said. "She would give you anything -- the clothes off of her back. And all the kids, they just loved her. She was a mama to all the kids of the neighborhood when they'd come in and out of their house."

Watkins says her granddaughter and several neighborhood teens tried to rescue Porter, who family members say had recently come home from the hospital.

"They were trying to get her out. It was like she didn't have the strength to stand up, to walk or do anything because it hasn't been too long since she got out of the hospital," Watkins said.

Norman Augustan said he ran towards the house when he saw smoke and tried to use a garden hose to put the flames out. Most of them he says were coming from Porter's back bedroom.

"My first intention was, ‘Let's get her out of the house. How can we get her out of the house,'" he said. "We had to grab the water house and ran around back. Once we got around back, the AC unit blew out the window from her oxygen tank."

Porter died from smoke inhalation, fire officials confirmed Tuesday. The fire's cause remains under investigation.

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