Woman found dead after fire in cluttered home - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Woman found dead after fire in cluttered home

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CHEVERLY, Md. -

An Easter Sunday tragedy in Prince George's County. A woman was found dead after a house fire along 59th Place in Cheverly. Investigators are still working to determine the cause of the flames, but according to Fire Chief Marc Bashoor, had the victim kept her home in better order and had there been working smoke detectors, it may have meant the difference between life and death.

The 911 call came in just before 8 a.m. Firefighters found a woman in a second floor bathroom, and pulled her outside, but it was too late. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Neighbor Dana Hallman says, "It's traumatic, it's really a traumatic thing." She and the victim often walked to and from the Metro together. She says the woman, who's described as in her 60's, was friendly and loved gardening. Hallman says, "On Easter Sunday it's just... if it had been a 60 degree day she would have been outside taking care of her flower bed that always looked so beautiful in the summer time." While the yard was well kept, fire officials describe the interior of the home as hazardous. They say this was a hoarding situation, which makes it more difficult for rescuers to navigate their way through the home. Plus, all of that material just adds fuel to the flames.

No word yet on the cause of the fire, but we do know investigators found just one smoke detector and it did not have a battery installed.

Firefighters will be canvassing communities throughout Prince George's County on Monday, April 1, as part of the Department's "Safety First Day of the month" initiative as well as the standard "Post Incident Neighborhood Intervention Program" (PINIP) where firefighters visit homes in a community where a tragic death has occurred.

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