Woman killed in fire at Columbus apartment

Apartment fire in Columbus on May 8, 2017

COLUMBUS, Ind. – A woman died after an apartment fire in Columbus Monday afternoon.

Deborah Volland, 59, was found unconscious inside her apartment in the 3500 block of Nicholas Lane after Columbus firefighters were called to the scene. A neighbor at Canterbury House Apartments reported smelling smoke and then saw it coming from the apartment around 2:45 p.m.

Firefighters found a small fire in the bedroom; Volland was unconscious in a hallway. As crews were extinguishing the fire, firefighters removed Volland from the apartment and attempted to resuscitate her. Those efforts proved unsuccessful, and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Volland likely died from smoke inhalation, according to the Bartholomew County Coroner’s Office, but the cause and manner of death won’t be finalized until the investigation is complete.

Investigators said the fire was located in the southwest side of the bedroom. The cause appeared to be “inappropriately discarded smoking materials.” Fire officials also said it’s possible that Volland fell asleep while smoking in bed.