Woman dies in fire, found hours later

Stuffed animal found in home

Updated April 18, 2011 4:15pm

F irefighters douse flames at a local home, then found out later there was a body inside.

F riends and neighbors are outraged, calling it inhumane.

When fighters put out the early Sunday morning fire, they apparently left something behind at a gutted home at 3905 Leerda Street.

It was the body of a woman in her late thirties, Luverne Nikole Wilson, a mother of seven.

L awanda Marshall, friend of Wilson says, "It's ridiculous. It's not like her body was burnt up and they couldn't see her. Her whole body was still intact. We all saw her through the window. They left her here for 12 hours like she wasn't even a human being."

I nside, there are what looks like marking of a person near a window.

P olice say they are conducting an internal investigation to determine the handling of this case. They do confirm that the woman's body was found in a northeast bedroom and that she died of smoke inhalation.

T hey say the fire started in the kitchen and that it was an accident.

N eighbors can't believe a body could have been missed by people trained to search, rescue, and recover.

"They missed her like two, three times. The fire people put it out, the arson investigator came back twice and didn't see her body," says Marshall.

F riend Vince Collier says, "They came back for their tools, but left her though."

Friends recover pictures from inside the home of L uverne and her children.

F riends make a memorial honoring the deceased with balloons and a card, still wondering how she could have been missed.

"They're the ones that got to be held accountable for it. God knows what happened, so God will take care of it in the long run," says Collier.

T he body was taken to the Hurley morgue.

A similar incident happened in Genesee County's Thetford Township January of 2010.

F irefighters put out a house fire, didn't find anyone inside, and then hours later recovered a body.

Update April 18, 2011 1:20pm

Police identify victim as Luverne Nikole Wilson. Investigators say the fire started in the kitchen.

Friends of Wilson say she's a mother of seven. Neighbors say fire officials came back after the fire to get their tools and still missed the body.

Police say they're conducting an internal investigation.

Flint Police tell NBC25 firefighters responded to a fire at 3905 Leerda Street at 6:45 Sunday morning.

Officials say "some time" later, they realized a woman was inside. She died of smoke inhalation.

NBC25's Dan Armstrong is covering the story and will have more details tonight on NBC25 News at 6.