WAKEFIELD (CBS) – A 71-year-old woman was found dead after a fire at an apartment building in Wakefield overnight.
Firefighters were called to the home on Water Street around 11:30 p.m. Monday.
Wakefield Fire Chief Michael Sullivan told WBZ-TV’s Anna Meiler that the fire appeared to have began on the second floor apartment.
“We did an interior aggressive attack, we knocked the fire down fairly quickly,” he said.
“The flames were coming out of that large window,” an area resident said. “It was quite something.”
Once crews got inside, they found the woman’s body. Chief Sullivan said it appeared she tried to get out, but couldn’t.
“There was nothing we could do for her,” he said. “She had some mobility issues as well … A lot of our bread and butter calls are to elderly, disabled folks, and obviously we try to do the best we can to help them, so it’s kinda sad when something like this happens.”
Neighbors were saddened to learn of her passing.
“She was very nice, very nice lady,” one neighbor told WBZ-TV’s Anna Meiler.
It’s still not clear if she died in the fire, but an autopsy will be done to determine the cause of death. Her name has not been made public.
Chief Sullivan said the cause was most likely careless disposal of smoking materials, and said that the fire could have been even worse.
“We were very lucky the fire did not get out of the apartment of origin,” he said. “If it had, the way it was extending, it could have seriously threatened some other occupants in the building.”
Seven other people who live in the building were displaced, and the Red Cross was called to the scene to help them.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports