Officials identify Lincolnton woman killed in morning house fire

LINCOLNTON, N.C. — A woman died after being rushed to the hospital early Tuesday after firefighters rescued her from a burning home in Lincolnton.

According to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, a deputy on patrol spotted the house on fire around 3:45 a.m. and called for the fire department.

Firefighters arrived at the home on Park Circle, off Startown Road across from Lincolnton Middle School, and found heavy flames and smoke coming from the house.

Firefighters and deputies tried to get into the home but the flames were too intense, officials said. Firefighters with special equipment were able to get inside the house and pulled a woman out.

She was taken to the hospital but officials said she did not survive. Authorities identified her as Bonnie Smith.

Channel 9 crews could see heavy damage to the home, mainly to the back of the house. Channel 9 also watched as deputies arrived at the home and roped it off with crime scene tape.

Fire investigators along with deputies focused much of their investigation near the stove.

"She was a very good friend. You could count on her for anything,” friend Amy Singleton said.

Tuesday afternoon friends of Smith gathered in front of the home. They’re in disbelief that she’s gone.

"She has an amazing personality. She could get anybody to smile,” Singleton said. “She was going through a lot recently, but she had started working real hard to get her life back on track and we are really going to miss her."

Family members told Channel 9 Smith and her neighbor swapped homes in the last two weeks. They said she was in the process of still unpacking.

Officials are still investigating what caused the fire.

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