Vicksburg woman dies in morning fire Lifelong resident was retired from Corps’ ERDC

Published 12:05 pm Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Vicksburg woman died this morning after a fire broke out in her family home where she lived alone near Wisteria Drive.

Karen Anderson-Smith, 50, was found on the floor in the doorway of a bathroom at 3022 Rose Lane, a short street off Parkside Drive, Warren County Coroner Doug Huskey said.

He said the cause of death was fire, but Deputy State Fire Marshal James Jackson said the cause would not be determined until autopsy results are reported, in about eight days.

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Vicksburg firefighters and police called to the home at 4:49 a.m. found smoke and flames billowing from the house and fought the blaze for about an hour, Battalion Chief Craig Danczyk said.

Huskey said Anderson-Smith was pronounced dead at 6:15 a.m.

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation, Jackson said.

Anderson-Smith was a lifelong resident of Vicksburg and the house on Rose Lane. She was a graduate of Vicksburg High School and Mississippi State University and a member of the Church of The Holy Trinity, Episcopal. She had worked for 25 years as a technician at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineer Research and Development Center before retirement in 2009.

“She was a real sweet lady,” neighbor Jan Jackson said. “She mainly kept to herself.”

The Rev. Susan Anderson-Smith of Tucson said her sister loved her pets and the outdoors and she was active in the Vickburg-Warren Humane Society.

One of Anderson-Smith’s four cats in the home with her survived the fire and was in the care of neighbors.

Fisher Funeral Home will have charge of arrangements.