Elderly Woman Killed in New Jersey Fire

May 8, 2008
An elderly woman was killed in her home on Wednesday morning.

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- There was a fatal fire in New Jersey Wednesday. An elderly woman was killed in her home, but not for lack of rescuers. And one of the people trying to save her was an elected official who ended up in the hospital.

The fire broke out Wednesday morning in Jersey City. New Jersey reporter Anthony Johnson has more.

Freeholder Eliu Rivera was back at the scene this afternoon, where this morning he, along with police and firefighters, tried to save a woman trapped in an intense fire.

"It was so intense that it was very hard for anyone to try and save her life," he said.

Rivera suffered from smoke inhalation and was treated for several hours in the hospital. The fire is still under investigation, but it appears the 91-year-old home-bound victim, identified as Elisa Rivera, died because she apparently closed the door to her room.

Authorities say when she got out of her seat, she may have unintentionally broken the line of her oxygen tank. They believe the pure gas helped fuel the intensity of the flames. Her neighbors are crushed by the tragedy.

There are reports that the oxygen tank may have exploded. The victim lived at the home with her family. Fortunately, no one else was home at the time of the fire.

Republished with permission of WABC-TV.

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