By BOB OLIVER
DEARBORN — An elderly woman was killed in a house fire Jan. 20 in the 3200 block of Monroe Street.
The woman, whose name has not been released by the Fire Department, was found in a rear bedroom of the house — which reportedly had no working smoke alarms — by firefighters.
Fire Chief Joseph Murray said the woman was the lone occupant of the house.
Firefighters were called to the house by neighbors about 9:45 p.m., and upon arriving discovered that the fire had spread throughout the house and that smoke was exiting through the roof.
“The crews had to force open the front door and fight a heavy fire on the first floor, in the basement and also on the upstairs staircase,” Murray said. “It was a difficult fire but our crews did an excellent job of taking care of the situation.”
Murray said emergency crews from four of the city’s five stations responded to the scene and fought the fire in single digit temperatures before gaining control after roughly 30 minutes.
The last crew left the house about 2:30 a.m., which Murray said made the job harder because of the cold weather.
“Weather complicates these types of responses because there’s so much water flowing and you end up with ice all over the place,” Murray said. “We have to make sure that we do our best to rotate crews to make sure that everyone is getting rehabbed enough because these guys are on the scene for a long time in difficult weather conditions.”
Murray said the cause of the fire has not been determined, but it appeared to have originated in the basement and had been burning for awhile before fire crews arrived at the scene.
He also said the investigation is ongoing.
(Bob Oliver can be reached at [email protected])