First fire of 2012 claims life of 61-year-old

Kitchen fire sets home ablaze. / Jessica Fairley

Albany Fire Department investigators are looking into a kitchen fire that claimed the life of a woman known by family members as Gloria Clark, 61.

Police say around 4:50 a.m. they received a call for a fire located at a home on 710 Cherry Ave.

When they arrived firefighters discovered heavy fire and smoke coming from the rear of the home.

Once inside, they found the victim.

"She was found between a wall and the bed. She had gotten out of bed and was trying to make her way out of the structure but was overcome because of the fire ventilation, the heat and the smoke," said Albany Fire Department Fire Captain Tony Denby.

The victim's son was able to escape the blaze.

Initial investigation reports show the woman was cooking New Years dinner when the fire started.

"She was cooking cabbage and had put her meat in the cabbage and unfortunately she left it unattended and that's what caused the fire," said Albany Fire Department Investigator Sam Harris.

According to fire records, there was no smoke alarm inside the home.

Randolph Coe, a 30 year friend of Clark, sends his condolences to the family.

"She was a real nice person. God did bless her to make it to this year. It's going to be a great loss and we're just going to have to be careful when we're cooking like that," said Randolph Coe.

Fire officials say this case will remain under investigation.