Family members identify woman killed in mobile home fire near Hickory

HICKORY, N.C. — Authorities are investigating after one person died in an overnight fire that destroyed a mobile home near Hickory.

Dozens of firefighters from several departments were called around 5 a.m. to the home on Airport Rhodhiss Road and found heavy flames and smoke coming from the structure.

Foul play isn't suspected.

Channel 9 reporter Dave Faherty watched as departments from Burke and Catawba counties worked to put out the flames.

Officials said family members desperately tried to rescue a woman who was trapped inside. The victim's mother lives down the street and spotted the smoke. She tried to get in to save her daughter, but the fire was too intense.

"They frequently talked in the morning and she went over to see why she wasn't answering the phone and found the fire,” said Burke County fire Marshal Mike Willis.

Relatives identified the victim as Janet Murphy, and said they were grateful her son was not home at the time.

“She was a friend to everyone and she lived for her little boy,” cousin Kellie Icard said. “That was her world inside and out, taking care of him."

Murphy's mother had to be treated for cuts and burns after kicking down a door and breaking a window.

Firefighters told Faherty they found Murphy near a bathroom.

"Every interaction I've ever had with her, she's been bubbly,” a friend, Garrett Voiers, said. “She's been great and I'm going to miss her."

The SBI is investigating the fire with help from the Burke County Sheriff's Office.

Check back with wsoctv.com for updates on this story.

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