Woman, 70, dies in Troy house fire - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Woman, 70, dies in Troy house fire

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TROY, N.Y. - One person inside a home on 4th Street in Troy was killed when a fire broke out Saturday night.

According to Troy Fire Chief Tom Barrett, the fire began around 8 p.m. Saturday at 510 Fourth Street and was difficult to tackle as firefighters tried to save the woman, 70-year-old Lillie Pompey, trapped on the second floor.

Pompey was taken to Samaritan Hospital after being rescued. Garrett says the woman was in cardiac arrest when she left for the hospital but later died. 

"Our crews got inside but then the fire got ahead of them and then we had to pull them out," said Garrett.

There was some confusion at first about the number of people inside but it's confirmed only the one woman was in the home at the time of the fire.

"That's why I've been doing numerous searches and the owner of the property just showed up and we found out his son was with him so we only had the one victim," said Barrett.

The Troy Fire Department tells NEWS10 that there was so much smoke on Fourth Street that they had to walk to find exactly which house was on fire. And when they did finally locate the house, that wasn't the only challenge they faced.

The firefighters found that the house had not just one, but two steel doors barricaded from the inside.

Crews had come equipped with instruments to enter a burning residence - rather than a commercial building where these steel doors are more common.

According to Deputy Chief Eric McMahon, firefighters are coming up against more situations like this which cost them valuable time during a rescue.

"That's what we just generally find. That the back doors on structures are more fortified and there're more obstacles for us to get through," said McMahon.

The woman trapped inside suffered cardiac arrest during the fire and later died.

Two houses down from where the fire broke out, we found a similar steel door on the back entrance.

Jocelyn Garcia Gonzalez and her family have rented there for two years. And though it offers security from burglars, it doesn't give her much comfort in case of a fire.

"If the door is that big of a deal, that the fire department can't get in then I think they should be changed," said Gonzalez.

The cause and origin of the fire are still under investigation.

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