An 85-year-old woman was killed in a house fire on South Electra Street in Gallatin on Tuesday, June 9. The cause has been determined to be electrical in nature. JOSH CROSS

A Gallatin woman was killed when her home caught fire overnight fire last week.

The Gallatin Fire Department was dispatched to the 115 South Electra Street at around 12:18 a.m. on June 9 after a neighbor noticed the roof of the home appeared to be on fire and called 911, according to Gallatin Fire Marshal Elizabeth Bednarcik.

“There was so much smoke in the house,” Bednarcik said. “We’re talking thick, black smoke to the ground. The rescue crew that made entry to do the search… could not see their hand in front of their faces.”

The homeowner, identified as 85-year-old Merrilyn Rogan, was found deceased inside her bedroom. No one else was found inside the residence.

The fire is believed to have been caused by an extension cord that was located in a room on the opposite end of the one-story home, according to Bednarcik.

Fire officials warn residents not to use extension cords for permanent wiring. Extension cords should also not be placed under furniture or used if they are worn, frayed or pinched. Any power strips should be Underwriters Laboratories (UL) approved.

“Unfortunately, a lot of times people plug (extension cords) into more than they should,” Bednarcik said. “They get overheated and it wears out the plastic coating that they have. It either wears (the extension cord) out or it gets it so hot that then it catches something that is around it on fire.”

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