Woman killed in east central Fresno apartment fire

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A 64-year-old woman has been killed in a fire in east central Fresno.

The blaze broke out on the second story of the Peachwood Apartments at Olive and Peach avenues just after 1 p.m.

The woman, Rosie Hixson, was apparently trapped inside the home.

"I immediately dialed 911, but I can hear somebody screaming. So I got really scared and I grabbed my fire extinguisher and I tried to go ahead and run over there to help her," said a neighbor, Secret Prescott.

Prescott said she and a few other tenants tried to make it upstairs to the burning second-floor unit, but thick smoke pushed them back.

"So basically what we did from there was just communicated with the police and 911 to try to get someone here as fast as possible."

A Fresno police officer was the first to arrive.

"She made entry where the fire was on the first floor, checked to see that everyone was out, then proceeded to go up to the second story. She was unable to proceed any further due to the severity of the smoke conditions," said Fresno Fire Capt. Koby Johns.

As the officer retreated, she came face to face with the first arriving firefighters and let them know someone was still trapped.

"Our crews were able to go inside. They encountered heavy fire and smoke conditions. They were able to locate an adult female in her fifties; however, they were unable to rescue her. She had already succumbed to her injuries as a result of the fire," Johns said.

Firefighters say Hixson lived alone, and it appears her smoke alarms were working. They believe the blaze started in Hixson's apartment, but the cause is under investigation.

The Red Cross is now assisting a total of 20 people from five families whose units were damaged during the tragic fire.

A total of 36 firefighters were called to put out the fire.

The cause is still under investigation.
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