Ann Arundel County firefighters said a 77-year-old woman who was rescued Friday morning from a house fire in Millersville, has died.
Fire officials said the call came at 10:35 a.m. and that the fire was coming from the basement and the first and second floors of the two-story single-family home.
“We are not sure how long the fire took before the neighbor found it,” said Capt. Eric Kornmayr, of the Ann Arundel County Fire Department. “It had erupted by the time we arrived.”
Behind the burning walls, the 77-year-old was trapped inside.
“The neighbor is aware of the inhabitants who live in the house, and he has informed us that it is possible that the older person here at home is the house,” said Kornmayr.
More than 40 firefighters at the site were fighting the blaze, which took nearly an hour to bring down.
The captain said, “The firefighters carried out a violent internal attack, and tried to put out the fire, and to locate the victim.”
The woman was left alone for only a short time. Family members returned to see the death of their loved ones.
“It is a difficult task to inform a family member of the death of a loved one in a fire,” said Kornmeier.
After the occupant was rescued, officials determined that the house was very unstable and that all of the firefighters battled the flames from outside.
There was also a shortage of fire hydrants in rural areas, and work crews had to fetch water. It took about an hour for firefighters to get the fire under control.
A firefighter sustained a minor burn in his ears and was taken to the Johns Hopkins Burn Center at Bayview Medical Center.
“At this time, we are not sure if there are smoke alarms operating in the home, or if they have been activated, but we will certainly do our best to determine this,” Kornmeier said. Check smoke alarms – it can mean the difference between life and death.
The Red Cross has been asked to help two adults and a child who also live in the house, but who were not present at the time of the fire.
Members of the Ann Arundel County Fire and Explosives Investigation Unit are working to determine the cause and origin of the fire.