On April 22, around 9:04 p.m., the Payne Springs Volunteer Fire Department received a call about a structure fire located at 2114 Hickory Street in Payne Springs. The Eustace, Enchanted Oaks and Gun Barrel Volunteer Fire Departments were called to assist with the fire.
During the suppression efforts, a deceased individual was found inside the residence and the Henderson County Fire Marshal Shane Renberg was notified. The Henderson County Fire Marshal along with assistance from the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office investigated the scene. The deceased individual was pronounced dead at the scene by JP 5 Brownlow and sent to American Forensics in Dallas Texas for an autopsy.
The deceased individual was identified as Debra Schultz, 54. Schultz was living in the residence and was unable to exit the residence during the fire. The Henderson County Fire Marshal was able to determine the fire was accidental and was not suspicious in nature. It is believed that Schultz started a fire outside the residence and went inside leaving the fire unattended. The wind caused the fire to spread to the structure causing the structure to be consumed by the fire.
Henderson County Fire Marshal Shane Renberg said, “I want to remind individuals of the importance to never leave fires unattended and if you do plan on leaving a fire to make sure it is completely out before leaving.”