House fire claims woman's life in northeast Harris County

Fire officials say she was found on her bed deceased; the family told us her bed is covered in blood
December 13, 2013 2:59:14 PM PST
An elderly woman is dead after a fire at her home in Highlands. And while family and neighbors are devastated that she's gone, investigators are working to determine what exactly happened in the woman's final moments.

The victim has been identified as 72-year-old sue Stagner. Fire officials say she was found on her bed deceased; the family told us her bed is covered in blood.

"Sad day today, or any day," said neighbor Brenda Mobley. "That's why everyone should make sure their Christmas lights and heaters; everyone needs to check on their neighbors, especially their elderly neighbors."

Sky Eye HD captured flames shooting out of the roof of the home at around 7am. A daring firefighter was seen on the roof, having climbed up a ladder from a hole in the middle of the burning structure.

"Found a female deceased inside the house," said Lt. Dean Hensley with the Harris County Fire Marshal's Office.

Firefighters found Stagner lying in bed, dead. There was nothing they could do.

"Devastated, like its a bad dream and we can't wake up," Stagner's son, Brad Stagner, said.

Stagner's children told Eyewitness News they were playing Words with Friends with their mother just Thursday night. Their mother's death is now a mystery.

"For some reason, her bed had a lot of blood on it, and that's where they found her this morning," Stagner's daughter, Melissa Denson, said.

Homicide investigators were on the scene. As family members could only console one another. They told Eyewitness News that Stagner lived alone, recently had heart surgery and had trouble getting up.

"She had a Lifeline necklace and she never pushed the button, so if something happened to her it was quick," Denson said.

After investigators cleared the scene, family members went in, trying to salvage any memories of their loved one. A box of family photos was spared.

"I know they have their job to do, but we do need some answers," Brad Stagner said.

Stagner lived in the home for 50 years, and her children were raised there. She was a mother of three had four grand kids and two great grand kids.

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