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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Fire claims life of Gepp resident

Friday, October 29, 2010

A field fire south of Gepp on Monday, Oct. 18, took the life of 69-year-old Betty Foster.

Foster lived on a farm on Fawnwood Road in Elizabeth, about one mile off of Highway 87 South.

According to Gepp Firefighter Max Shrable, Foster called a neighbor from her cell phone Monday afternoon and asked her to call the fire department because there was a fire on her property.

When Gepp Fire Department units arrived, they were unable to reach the fire area, which was about a mile off the road, because of rough terrain and thick smoke.

"The smoke was terrible," said Shrable. "The field had grown up and was dry so the fire had really spread. We couldn't get our equipment back there."

A Forestry Department fire truck, equipped to reach remote areas, was sent from Salem. As it went back into the field, firefighters discovered a four wheeler and the body of Foster laying on the ground, nearby.

"We didn't realize she was out there in the middle of the field," said Shrable. "That is how thick the smoke was,"

According to Shrable, Foster had grabbed a bucket and driven back to the fire, perhaps thinking she could douse the fire with water from a nearby creek.

"She might have had a heart attack when she got back there or she could have easily been overcome by the smoke," said Shrable.

The Fulton County Sheriff's Department investigated the fire death. Deputy Lance Gray says it appears Foster's death was an accidental result of the fire.

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