PRATT CITY, Ala. (WIAT) — Family members are mourning the loss of 72-year-old Bertha Files Banks who died in a house a fire.
Fire investigators the grandmother was inside the home Tuesday morning, and was unable to get out in time. Family members tell us that her grandchildren tried helping her get out. Files Banks was from Pratt City.
“She meant the world, my sister was great, very sweet lady, she tried to help everyone she could,” said Files Banks’ sister Theresa Files.
Files Banks was a member of the Peace Missionary Baptist Church.
“She went above and beyond to help those in need. There were times where she would cook and feed the neighbors, she would come out and sit on porch and offer words of advice and words of encouragement,” family member Eric Hall said.
Investigators say the fire started in the rear of home. The fire has been ruled as accidental, and may have been caused by a space heater.
Her church is accepting donations to help with funeral arrangements and her family. The church is Peace Missionary Baptist Church located at 1300 10th Street in Pratt City.