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Grandmother lost in house fire

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BRUSLY - The only thing Verna Craig's family will have to remember her on Thanksgiving will be a side dish she prepared the night before a fire destroyed her mobile home and claimed her life.

"I usually fry the turkeys," said Robert Seals, Craig's son. "But she made a cornbread dressing. She won't get to eat it though."

Taking care of others is the kind of legacy Craig, 76, leaves behind in Brusly, where Seals said she was well-known.

"Oh she was loved by everybody around here," he said. "Church-going woman, fed everybody."

Firefighters said the fire which killed Craig broke out around 5 a.m. at her mobile home, and she was unable to get out of bed before she was overcome. State Fire Marshal Butch Browning said they believe a space heater was to blame.

"Focused on a small space heater in the bedroom where combustible materials were around," he said. "Large fire started in that room and spread toxic gas throughout quickly."

Craig's family said they got an emergency message about the fire, but they were too late.

The Fire Marshal said people should make sure space heaters have three feet of clearance around them, and should never be left on and unattended in another room.

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