OXFORD (CBS) – Fire officials say hoarding conditions hindered firefighting efforts at a house fire in Oxford that killed an elderly woman and two pets and injured two firefighters overnight.
A town official identified the victim as 94-year-old Josephine Mulvey.
Two unidentified firefighters were sent to area hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries, officials said.
Firefighters responded to a home on Sacarappa Road at 7:47 p.m. Thursday after receiving reports of a building fire with one occupant trapped.
When they arrived, firefighters found flames ripping through the roof, “hoarding conditions within the home and a very heavy fire load” in the rear of the building.
According to the fire department, Mulvey’s daughter came home to find the fire Thursday night, ran to a neighbor’s to call 911, saying her mother was inside.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation but not does appear to be suspicious, officials said.
Neighbor Joe Bailey said his wife ran outside and took cell phone video of the flames.
“It was like the whole house was engulfed when I looked out the window,” Bailey said.
Neighbors say Mulvey, a retired nurse, authored a book advertised on a poster outside the burned out home.
For neighbors, the incident raises concerns about emergency access to Sacarappa Road, since one side of it is blocked off. THe town manager said it’s in disrepair, and the state denied its application for a grant to fix it.
There were other problems. A lack of hydrants required surrounding towns to come in with tankers full of water.
This was one of two fires in Oxford Thursday night. A barn on Federal Hill Road was destroyed. No injuries were reported in that fire.
Investigators say the incidents are not connected.
The state Fire Marshal’s Office and Department of Fire Services responded to Sacarappa Road.
Oxford received mutual aid from Auburn, Webster, Charlton, Dudley, Sutton, Douglas, Millbury and Leicester.