FALL RIVER, Mass. — Firefighters in Massachusetts say they had difficulty battling a blaze that killed a 74-year-old woman and attempting a rescue because her home was crowded with boxes blocking their path.
The woman was found in bed in her Fall River home early Sunday and taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead. She was identified Monday as Lillian Cordeiro.
Fire Capt. Neil Furtado tells The Herald News the three-story home was packed with so many boxes that firefighters were afraid the floor might collapse.
A neighbor tells WJAR-TV that she helped the family remove more than 100 unopened boxes from one apartment.
Furtado says an extension cord wrapped around a bannister likely caused the fire.
A responding firefighter was hospitalized for smoke inhalation and later released.