A 56-year-old Walla Walla woman has died from injuries she sustained Thursday morning when her house was destroyed by fire.

Denise Lowell was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle in critical condition, but succumbed to her injuries midday Tuesday, according to her husband, Chip Lowell. He said he and their son, Josh Lowell, told doctors to take her off the respirator after experts said Denise’s brain had little to no activity.

In an interview with the Union-Bulletin this morning, Chip said that although the circumstances were grim, he was using it as a chance to talk about God.

“He has carried us through this,” Chip said, adding he and Josh have spent part of the time since her death joking around because “that’s what Denise would have wanted.”

“We’ve done a full circle of emotions on this because we haven’t dealt with this before,” Chip said.

The Lowells were home at 622 Poplar St. when the blaze erupted at around 2:30 a.m. The cause of the fire was undetermined, according to a city news release, but it started in the backyard.

Walla Walla and College Place fire departments and Walla Walla County Fire District 4 responded. It took more than two hours — until 4:43 a.m. — to put out the blaze, according to Jennifer Scott, a Walla Walla Fire Department spokeswoman.

Walla Walla police arrived before firefighters, forced their way inside the home and rescued Chip, but Denise was in a back bedroom, reports stated. Firefighters found her after about 15 minutes, and

medics began resuscitating her.

“I told them to get her out, she’s right around the corner,” Chip said, who was on oxygen for an hour after police dragged him from the home.

The amount of damage to the home was unknown.

People can help by donating at Umpqua Bank and requesting the money go to the Chip and Denise Fire Fund.

Chip also sent the following to the U-B this morning, asking it be printed in full:

“The last message from Denise Lowell: 2 Timothy 4:7-8 — I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day — and not only me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

“Monday, she went home to the Lord Our Savior. She will be greatly missed by all. She would not want you to shed your tears for her, but instead, pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and keep moving forward. God’s mercy and grace has been thick, in this ordeal, and we praise him for it. Chip and Josh.”


Emily Thornton can be reached at emilythornton@wwub.com or 509-526-8325.

Emily Thornton covers courts and emergency services, as well as other various stories. She has been in the newspaper industry off and on since roughly 1999 and lived primarily on the West Coast, but also Florida and Europe.