Morning Fire in Lawrence County Claims Life

December 10, 2003 - Posted at 1:07 p.m. CDT, updated 12/11/03 at 8:28 a.m.

PORTIA, AR - A house fire this morning in Portia claimed the life of an 18-year-old woman identified as Gladys Taylor.

Chief Deputy Leslie Gates of the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department said Portia volunteer firefighters were dispatched to the scene of the fire at 7:20 a.m.  After gaining entry into the residence, firemen found the woman's badly burned body.

The incident is still being investigated, but authorities believe the fire may have started due to a faulty space heater.  The victim's body has been sent to the state crime lab for an autopsy.