Burglar Bars Prevented Rescue in Fatal Fla. Fire


Miami-Dade Fire Rescue investigators are working to determine what caused a fire that claimed the life of a 76-year-old woman Sunday evening.

The fire broke out at the Grove Villas town home community at 5815 SW 144th Circle Place.

Neighbors jumped into action to try to save the elderly sisters who lived there.

"I called the number, but of course they didn't answer," said neighbor Rosanna Ricketts. "We knew the two of them were inside but the place was grilled. Nobody could get in."

Burglar bars on the windows prevented neighbors from attempting a daring rescue, but they still fought off the smoke and flames as best as they could.

"There was big flames," said 88-year-old Oliver Terrier, who lives in the unit next door. "I took my hose on it too and we got the fire down before the fire brigade came."

Oliver told Local 10's Terrell Forney that the victims moved in together to take care of each other.

"One has a bad leg and she can't even get out of bed, and the other one she drives still and that sort of thing. I think they were giving her CPR out here," he said.

Forty firefighters raced to the scene to put out the flames. The fire crews found the women in a hallway and managed to pull them out of the home.

One was rushed by ambulance to Kendall Regional Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead. The other was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where she was listed in critical condition.

It's unclear how the fire started, but fire investigators believe the flames may have been sparked in a front bedroom.

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