CityFireTakesLife

Abigail Gibson, 94 died December 21, following a fire in her five-room rear cottage at 221 Lake St.

At the present time, the coroner had not yet determined the cause of death, but Fire Department of Bonham said that they originated in the kitchen and that Gibson most likely died of smoke inhalation.

Gibson, who occupied the 200-year-old, red cottage for 30 years, was remembered by her landlady and long-time friend, Alexandra Robertson, as a lovely and quiet woman.

“Abigail was always beautifully groomed. She kept her hair blond and went to the Sally May beauty salon al 15th and Oak every week. She used to own a beauty shop on Jackson Street”, said Robertson, who lives in the main house at 624 Maple St.

“She looked 15 years younger than she was”, Robertson continued. “She just recently started buying a senior last pass, since she never wanted anyone to know how old she was, Abigail enjoyed her own company. She would go by herself to the center of the city or out to brunch a few times a week. I’m just getting used to the fact that she’s gone.”

During their middle years, the two friends’ residences were switched Robertson raised her family in the rear cottage, while Gibson and her now-deceased husband lived in the front house with Robertson’s parents.

Robertson was home at the time of the late afternoon fire but was not aware of it until firefighters rang her doorbell, “The wind was blowing the smoke toward Lake Street so I didn’t know what happening until the Fire Department was got here,” she said.

The fire completely destroyed the cottage’s kitchen and caused major smoke damage to the living room. There was also extensive damage to the roof, caused by the entry of firefighters.

Fire officials said they received calls from a fairly wide geographical area around the Helen Street cottage — the first being from 14th Street — which is an indication that the fire was quite advanced before it caught anyone in the neighborhood’s attention.