New Hampshire Fire Claims One

MANCHESTER, N.H. --

A woman was killed when a fire tore through an apartment complex in Manchester Sunday afternoon.

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The fire broke out at Sunset Ridge apartment complex around 11 a.m. Investigators said they believe the fire started in the victim's bedroom, where they said bedding was placed too close to an electric heater. Fire officials said the victim's oxygen tank may have helped fuel the flames.

The victim's identity and cause of death were not immediately known. An autopsy is scheduled for Monday.

The fire destroyed 12 of the 24 units in the complex. About 20 people were displaced.

"It is a tragedy. Pray for the family of the lady who lost her life," said Emilia Belouin, a resident.

The smoke was so thick in the hallways that Dan and Amanda Pramis climbed over their porch to get out.

"We couldn't get out our front door, so we opened our sliding door to our porch. So, I picked her up, dropped her over, then I jumped over and we got out," Dan Pramis said. "I was asleep and I heard some noise going off and I went to check on the first floor and there was smoke coming in."

Other residents took their time walking out the door before seeing the fire spread.

"The minute we got out, we saw the flames and my husband's in there, and I'm like, 'Oh my God,'" said Emilia Belouin, a resident. "Finally, he got out."

People swarmed outside the building to watch while other people kept a close eye from their balconies from across the street.

The people who lost everything stood out from the crowd.

"There goes home," Amanda Pramis said. "Well it's true: Now, I've got to find another place."

The Red Cross is assisting by providing food, shelter and clothing.

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