Blind woman dies in early morning Richmond house fire

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A blind woman has died following a house fire in Richmond.

The Richmond Police Department has identified the woman as Shene Dickens.

Investigators say the victim called fire crews to a home in the 200 block of Plazaview Road around 1:45 a.m. Friday morning. Once on scene, crews spotted flames and smoke coming from the back of the home.

Fire crews found Dickens inside the home and started life-saving measures. Authorities say she suffered smoke inhalation and burns and later died at the hospital.

A man was also found outside the home and was treated for smoke inhalation.

An investigation is underway, but officials don’t suspect foul play. The Richmond Fire Department is leading the fire investigation and RPD’s Major Crimes division will be handling the death investigation.

Neighbors spoke with 8News on Friday about the fire. They said they heard Dickens screaming “I can’t breathe” from inside the house during the fire.

In an emotional interview, Dicken’s sister Jolinda Dickens says she does not think the fire was an accident. She says Dickens had been harassed by her ex-boyfriend for months and is worried he is connected to the fire.

The Richmond Fire Department explains that while foul play is not suspected, they are still “doing their due diligence” and investigating the incident.

A gofundme page has been established by Jolinda to help cover costs for a burial service.

This is a developing story.

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