December 21, 2009

News Release

For Immediate Release

Fatal Fire at 1016 E. Talmage

An extension cord plugged into a space heater was the cause of a fatal fire in Springfield on Sunday, according to the Springfield Fire Department. The Fire Department has ruled the fire accidental.

Cathy Hardison, age 50, was found in a bedroom of the home at 1016 E. Talmage St. Preliminary investigations point to smoke inhalation as the cause of death. An autopsy is being conducted this afternoon. Two other female occupants in the home at the time were injured. Connie Stevens, age 50, exited the home’s front door and re-entered through the rear door to rescue her 86-year-old mother, Virginia Hardison. Stevens was treated and released by St. John’s Hospital. Hardison is in critical condition at St. John’s with 2nd degree burns on 30 percent of her body.

The fire apparently began when the extension cord plugged into an electric space heater that was left on overnight became overheated and caught fire. The cord was located beneath and behind a couch in the living room of the home. The cord was covered with clothing and paper material, the Department said. The house was heavily damaged. The Department estimates about $50,000 in damages.

For more information, contact: Assistant Fire Chief Randy Villines, (417) 864-1527.

city of springfield fire

Springfield Fire Department

830 Boonville Ave., P.O. Box 8368, Springfield, MO 65801
417-864-1500 • FAX: 417-864-1505 • springfieldmo.gov/fire