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Talladega woman dies in house fire after going back in for her pet cat

A house fire Saturday morning on the 500 block of Court Street resulted in the death of a Talladega woman and injury to her husband, according to Talladega Fire Chief Danny Warwick.

Talladega County Coroner Shaddix Murphy said the deceased was Linda Ann Jones Whaley, 58. She was pronounced dead at the scene at 1:39 a.m. from burns and smoke inhalation. Her husband, Charles Jones, also suffered burns and was airlifted to Birmingham by a LifeSaver helicopter.

Warwick said firefighters were dispatched to 501 North Court Street at 12:12 a.m. and found heavy smoke and fire showing from the front of the residence. Charles Jones was already outside, Warwick said, and told firefighters his wife was inside the house.

Warwick said a search was conducted inside the house, but the woman was already dead at that point.

The house itself sustained severe damage.

Murphy said it appeared that the fire started with a kerosene heater that had tipped over. The wife called 911, and both occupants initially made it out, but the wife had gone back in for their cat, Murphy said.

As of Saturday afternoon, the case was still under investigation by Talladega Police and Fire Departments and the Alabama Fire Marshall’s Office.