One person dead after house fire in Central Fresno

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Neighbors embraced the sister of the woman they said died in a house fire at a home in Central Fresno Monday. (KFSN)

Neighbors embraced the sister of the woman they said died in a house fire at a home in Central Fresno Monday.

The home caught fire while Scott Degroot was in his backyard.

"So I grabbed the garden hose and tried to put the fire out through the front door."

Degroot said as he was trying to put the fire out-- thick smoke was taking over the house, but he was still able to see where the woman was inside.

"She was in the dining room-- I was probably putting her out, putting the flames out and she was right there."

Neighbors told us the woman who lived here was in her 50's. Someone Linda Johnson knew for almost 20 years.

"I just can't believe it, kind of in shock right now."

Johnson said her friend lived alone with her cats.

"She was a wonderful sweet person-- very, very talented. She was an artist, a writer, and she had masters in English and taught at city part-time. I loved her very much."

Because of the heat, Fresno fire said two additional crews had to be called in, bringing the total response team to seven engines, dozens of firefighters, and even American Ambulance for support.

"Just to execute the same job at 60 degrees at 95 degrees, it requires such more of a significant effort," said Brian Price, Fresno Fire Battalion Chief.

As they worked to get it controlled and investigate the cause, nearby residents stood in a circle, stunned that their neighbor who lived here for 17 years will not be returning to this street.

"My hearts goes out to them because this is very disturbing. She was a beautiful woman," said

The Fresno Police Department is also investigating this fire and calling it a suspicious death until the coroners office can determine how the victim died.

No smoke detectors in the home and at this time the name of the victim has not been released.

Related Topics:
house firefire deathfirefresnoFresno - Central
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