Handicapped Woman Killed in Connecticut Fire

ENFIELD, Conn. --

Investigators said a house fire in Enfield killed a handicapped woman and injured her brother.

Despite two rescue attempts, firefighters were unable to reach a bedridden woman who trapped inside her burning house.

The fire broke out at the Northfield Road home just after 4 p.m.

"It was totally engulfed," neighbor Steve Dexter said. "Black smoke coming out of the windows in the front, and in the back, there were flames 10, 15 feet above the house."

Neighbors said one of the homeowners was able to escape the blaze, crying out that his sister was trapped on the second floor.

"He was on some kind of a cell phone or something talking with her," Dexter said. "She was up in the bedroom, and he was telling her to put a blanket over her face and put water on it."

Firefighters went in two times to try to rescue the woman, Hazardville Fire Chief Jack Flanagan said.

"The fire and the smoke conditions were just too severe for them," he said. "And actually, the fire flashed over on them -- they had to pull them out."

Neighbors consoled the brother, who was later taken to Johnson Memorial Hospital.

"I kept telling him it was going to be OK," neighbor Linda Williams said. "They'd get his sister out, but I'm sorry, she didn't make it, and their dog, Hershey, didn't make it."

Neighbors said the siblings kept to themselves, looking after each other.

"I look at this house, it's a total, total loss," Dexter said. "I don't know what's going to become of him."

"It's a very surreal feeling," he said. "Someone right next door to you has passed away in a horrible way."

Firefighters said the most of damage was in the back of the house on the first floor.

The state fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.

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