By: Melissa Toupin
An elderly woman is Fairhaven, Mass. is killed trying to put out a kitchen fire in her house. Fire fighters were called to the Mill Road residence around 10:30 am by a cleaning woman who saw smoke coming from the apartment.
84-year-old Barbara Wilbur lived in the in-law apartment above her son's garage. She was home alone when the fire began.
Wayne Oliveria, Public Information Officer for the Fairhaven Fire Department, says Wilbur tried to put out the flames by spraying them with water from the sink. When they found her she was unresponsive and lying on the ground. She had collapsed just 2 feet from the back door.
First responders rushed Wilbur to St. Luke's Hospital in New Bedford where she later died. They say the cause was likely smoke inhalation.
The fire is believed to be accidental, breaking out in the kitchen. Investigators believe a faulty appliance on stove may be to blame.
Fire fighters say their was a lot of smoke, but that the fire never broke through.
"So evidently it either self extinguished, or she was able to put it out and that's what they are kind of sifting through right now," said Oliveria.
The fire remains under investigation by the Fairhaven Fire and Police Departments, State Police assigned to the Bristol District Attorney's AOffice and the State Fire Marshals office.
A pet cat was also killed in the fire.
The damage to the home is estimated to be between $30,000 and $40,000.