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Elderly Woman Dies in Fire

Elderly Woman Dies in Fire

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Sandra Yi ReportingAn elderly woman is dead after her trailer home caught on fire overnight.

The fire didn't spare much of the trailer home. When firefighters arrived it was already engulfed in high flames and heavy smoke, and the woman who lived there was trapped inside.

Norma, Neighbor: "I was in bed last night and I could smell something like wood burning and I heard popping sounds. And so that's when I got up and looked out my window and I could see flames shooting up skyward."

She called 911, but not before the flames and smoke ravaged her neighbor's trailer home. Today all that's left is the home's charred frame. Norma says the heat from the fire was so intense, two of her windows cracked. She and another neighbor were forced to evacuate. For a while, Norma feared her own home could be in danger.

Norma: "Fortunately, the wind wasn't coming north, you know."

The elderly woman inside the burning home wasn't so lucky. Neighbors say she used a walker to get around. That may have made it more difficult for the victim to get out in time.

Norma: "It was very heart wrenching because I kept asking, 'Have they got her out yet? Have they got her out?' But then finally they said they found her and that she was gone."

Firefighters found the woman's body in the living room. They say, sadly, older trailer homes like this one, once on fire, can quickly go up in flames. The cause of this fire is still unknown but investigators say it doesn't appear to be suspicious.

Capt. Jay Ziolkowski, Salt Lake County Fire Dept.: "We know that she was a smoker. That might have been part of the problem. There have been reports of portable heater fires already this year. That may have been a situation. We just don't know at this point what the real cause was."

Neighbors say the victim had lived there for many years. She was in her 80s and they say she didn't leave her house much. They say she lived alone but did have a nephew. One of her neighbors called to break the news to him.

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