Westfield fire fighters were greeted by flames when they first arrived at the house on Ethan Allen Lane just after 3:00 am Tuesday morning.
Crews quickly attacked the fire, but when the 1st floor of the home collapsed into the basement fire fighters were pulled out because it was just too dangerous.
“Our crews did an interior search and found someone in the house, but unfortunately we had a fatality tonight. Our crews were unable to save the victim,” said a Westfield Fire Department spokesman.
The victim was identified as 82 year-old Gay Booth.
“She was pretty much a person who kept to herself and didn't do too much around here,” said a neighbor.
Neighbors say booth had two sons, one who died just this past summer.
Fire fighters say it took 37 minutes to get the fire under control thanks to a hydrant across the street. Heavy rain and fire destroyed the roof and nearly every room.
Fire investigators say because of the nature of the damage it will be difficult for them to determine a cause. But neighbors have their own thoughts.
“She did smoke and i don't know what the investigation will call, but I know a couple times I'd seen her she'd be in a house coat and seen cigarette burns on her house coat.”Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times