MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — Firefighters in Manchester, N.H., say a woman has died in a house fire, and that their efforts to search the home and put out the fire were hindered because both entrances were blocked by garbage.
WMUR-TV reports (http://bit.ly/1cvUc55 ) Manchester Fire Chief James Burkush described it as ‘‘what we call hoarding, a pack rat, everything.’’
Fire crews were called to the home shortly before 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Investigators believe the fire was caused by an overloaded extension cord on the second floor. That’s where they found the woman. Her name has not been released.
‘‘The front porch was loaded with things. The rear porch was loaded with things every room in the house, the stairway ... it hampered our access to the building,’’ said District Fire Chief Mark Pelletier of the Manchester Fire Department. ‘‘Debris was knee-deep anyway on the floor, and just picture that, trying to walk in that under normal conditions but with full gear on trying to stretch a hose line, it hampered us drastically.’’
Firefighters say the exits also were blocked Monday in Bridgewater in a fire in which an elderly couple died.
In both fires, neither home had working smoke detectors.
‘‘Sometimes you only have seconds to get out, depending on the situation,’’ Pelletier said.
Information from: WMUR-TV, http://wmur.com