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Unattended cooking cited in fatal fire
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Unattended cooking appears to have caused a fatal fire last week in Gainesville, Hall County Fire Marshal Scott Cagle said.

Denise Salazar, 48, died shortly after being taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center following the March 28 fire in the 1600 block of Lyman Drive. A preliminary report showed she died of smoke inhalation, officials said.

Fire investigators and insurance investigators combing through the debris both concluded the fire started on the stove, Cagle said.

“The stove was indeed left on and fire patterns indicate the fire started in the kitchen on top of the stove,” he said.

Multiple pots and pans and several opened cans were on the counter, looking as if Salazar was preparing a meal.

Investigators also found a smoke alarm in the apartment but it did not have a battery.

The case will remain open until the medical examiner’s office blood/toxicology reports are completed, Cagle said.

Hall County had not had a fatal fire since 2010, Cagle said.

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