WESTFIELD, Ind.— The Westfield Fire Department responded to an early morning fire that claimed the life on an elderly female. Another woman delivering newspapers to the home first noticed heavy smoke coming from the eves and dialed 911 at about 3 o’clock in the morning. Fire crews were dispatched and arrived within six minutes to find flames blazing through the roof.
Firefighters then went in the front of the home and began extinguishing the fire. During this time, they found the main floor collapsed into the basement.
“Because of these unsafe conditions, firefighters were pulled out of the structure and continued attacking the blaze safely from the outside,” said John Barrett spokesperson for the Westfield Fire Department.
At the same time, search crews found an elderly female in a bedroom at the rear of the house. They immediately rescued the woman, removing her from the home and gave her to medical crews. The medical personnel assessed the woman but were unable to revive her.
Firefighters continued attacking the fire and despite the collapsed floor, were able to quickly get the fire under control—with no firefighter injuries. Fire investigators, then, arrived on the scene and began their investigation—a normal process for house fires. Investigators say the fire began in the kitchen and was accidentally started.
The woman, Gaynell C. Booth, was 82 years old and was the only person living in the home. The Hamilton County Coroners office has determined that Booth, did indeed pass away from smoke inhalation.