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  1. ITV Report

Woman dies in house fire

Police guard house where woman died Photo: ITV Border

A Gretna woman, Martha Carruthers, 86, has died in a fire at her home on the town's Union Road. Denise Smith lives nearby and was the first to raise the alarm at around 10 o'clock on Thursday evening when her dog's persistent barking made her to go the window to see what was wrong. She saw her neighbour's house on fire and called 999.

Denise goes on to describe her frantic attempts to summon help as she waited for emergency services to arrive.

Police are not yet officially naming the woman who later died in Carlisle's Cumberland Infirmary. Ms Smith and other neighbours have told ITV Border that she was 86 year old widow Martha Carruthers. They all say that she was a popular and friendly member of the local community who will be greatly missed.

Police and fire service investigators have now ruled out arson and say there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the fire. Det Con Euan Cowan from Dumfries and Galloway police explains where the investigation is at this stage.