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Mother, daughter die after Henrico house fire

Published: Nov. 3, 2021 at 1:14 AM EDT|Updated: Nov. 3, 2021 at 4:54 PM EDT
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HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - Two women, a mother and daughter, who were seriously injured after an overnight house fire have died, according to the Henrico County Fire Department.

Firefighters were dispatched to the 7900 block of Tamarind Drive, near Wilkinson Road, around 11:27 on Tuesday night. When crews arrived on the scene, they saw smoke coming from several windows of the residence.

Prior to the arrival of fire crews, next door neighbors tried saving the women.

“A huge cloud of smoke came out, and it was too much - even enough to have my coughing a few hours later,” said Shelby Johnson.

She describes banging on the door, while trying to alert other neighbors to call for help.

“Stuff started falling too, you could hear things falling,” she said.

Crews found the two women unresponsive in the home as smoke and fire came from the right side of the dwelling.

Evetis D. Duren, 85 and Belinda D. Webster, 63, were transported to VCU with life-threatening injuries where they later died.

“Sister Duren had such a warm and loving spirit, and Belinda was just a joy,” said Deaconess Valerie Hartley, who serves at Triumphant Baptists Church alongside Duren. Both women were members, however.

She says Evetis raised her family in the church, while wearing many hats over her sixty years serving there:

“Not only of the Deaconess ministry, but she was in the nurse’s ministry, the music ministry, and the missionary ministry.”

Deaconess Hartley grew up alongside Webster in the church, adding that health reasons caused Belinda to fall under the care of her elderly mother recently.

Now, Hartley says the church must work to deliver the bad news of the large void now left in its spiritual family.

“We’re going to look to the family to see what it is they want to do, and then we will follow their lead and plan something to honor Belinda and Sister Evetis,” she added.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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