News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news
TUESDAY, MAY 22, 2007

Decatur firefighters sift through the burned remains of a home where a woman died.
Daily photo by Gary Lloyd
Decatur firefighters sift through the burned remains of a home where a woman died.

Burned home
yields body

Moulton woman, 22, found dead
after early morning Decatur fire

By Bayne Hughes and Seth Burkett 353-4612

Authorities are still trying to identify the cause of an early Monday morning blaze that killed a woman and destroyed a Northwest Decatur home.

Chief Darwin Clark, fire marshal for Decatur Fire and Rescue, said firefighters, after dousing the 2:30 a.m. fire, found Kari Ann Parker, 22, of Moulton dead inside the bathroom at 8101/2 Grove St. N.W.

Police spokesman Lt. Chris Mathews said Perez Hamilton of Decatur was driving down Church Street Northwest when he saw the smoke. Hamilton went to the burning house to see if anyone was inside, but flames prevented him from getting too close to the residence so he called E-911.

Clark and detective Sgt. Jeremy Hayes said they did not suspect arson.

"There's no sign of foul play at this time," said Hayes, who was called to the scene when firefighters discovered Parker's body about 4 a.m.

Clark said his department spent most of the morning removing Parker's remains before sending her to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences in Huntsville, where an autopsy is scheduled for this morning. The state fire marshal's office and Morgan County Coroner Russ Beard also are investigating the incident.

"We have a good idea where the fire started, but we're still trying to figure out the cause," Clark said.

Decatur police identified Parker through fingerprint analysis. A family friend said Parker has a 3-year-old daughter, but she was not with her mom at the time of her death.

At the scene Monday morning, Richard Reed said he oversees the property for an owner who lives in Detroit. He said he was renting the house to Parcina Burgess, but believes her daughter or son was living in the residence.

"I was trying to get him (the owner) to evict them, and he wanted me to do it," Reed said. "They weren't taking very good care of the property."

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