A Salem woman has died from injuries she suffered after a fire broke out in her apartment on Rutledge Drive on Nov. 20.

Salem Fire & EMS found Tracey Michelle Berry, 45, unconscious inside her apartment and got her out within seven minutes, according to a news release. Emergency CPR was started and firefighters were able to get her pulse back. She was taken to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital but died there the following day.

Berry was a “caring and loving person, who wanted to take care of everyone close to her,” according to her obituary.

She loved animals, especially her cats, which also died in the fire. She grew up in Virginia Beach and settled in Salem to be closer to the mountains, according to her obituary.

The fire marshal’s office determined that the blaze was accidentally kindled by improper disposal of smoking materials.

The apartment sustained an estimated $50,000 in damage, but firefighters kept it from spreading to other apartments in the building.

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Alison Graham covers Roanoke County and Salem news. She’s originally from Indianapolis and a graduate of Indiana University.

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