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Elderly Vidor woman dies in fire
ORANGE COUNTY- by Haley Bull
Firefighters in Orange County are investigating what caused a home in the 3200 block of South Main St. near Vidor to catch fire early Sunday morning, killing a 79-year old woman inside. She's identified as Dorothy Hampshire of Vidor.
Investigators said four other people escaped the flames. Paramedics took the victim's husband, granddaughter and caretaker to Christus Hospital St.Elizabeth in Beaumont with non-life threatening injuries.
Investigators said the child's father also escaped the fire, but left the scene. They're looking for him.
Late Sunday morning the home was surrounded by crime tape. Piles of rubble, blackened walls and the shell of a home were all that remained.
"This lady and her little girl came over knocking on my door about 3:05 and asked me to please call the police, their house was on fire," a woman who asked to not be identified said. She said she called 911.
"When I looked over it looked like there was a fire already going, pretty good," she said.
"It was not engulfed, but it was looking like this, smoldering. So bottom line is it was practically already through," Orange County Sheriff's Office Detective Gary Hinton said.
He said five people were home at the time of the fire.
"An elderly couple, a grandchild about 9-years old, I also know that their caretaker was there for the lady, the elderly woman was ill," Hinton said.
Deputies said the two adults and the child were able to make it out of the house, but unable to reach Hampshire.
Investigators said firefighters got her out of the house once they arrived, but the 79-year old woman died at the scene.
"The father of the child is the one that's missing and we're looking for him right now," Hinton said.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. The state fire marshal is assisting in the investigation.
A judge has ordered an autopsy.