MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - A Mobile family is mourning the loss of a woman who died in a fire in her home Friday night.
Investigators said the same clutter that kept the woman from getting out, also hampered firefighters' efforts to save her.
Firefighters were called to the 6000 block of Lighthouse Court around 9 p.m. on May 18.
There wasn't much smoke when they arrived, but someone was trapped inside.
"There was a male on the scene that said the female victim was inside where there were a set of French doors," said Mobile Fire Department's Steve Huffman.
According to Huffman, the doors weren't locked, but firefighters couldn't push them open more than a few inches.
"The biggest hampering that we had going in was there was stacks of boxes, magazines, papers, clothing things like that. There was another door nearby that they were able to force it open and get inside. Once inside they encountered heavy fire," Huffman said.
By the time firefighters were able to get the 60-year-old woman outside, it was too late. Huffman said the woman's adult son barely made it out himself.
"He actually got out through the French doors. He squeezed out through the little opening that there was," he said.
Firefighters said the blaze started in the kitchen where a pot was left cooking on the stove.
Neighbors said they had started to see some of the clutter disappear from the property.
"She was a hoarder, and at one time the back porch, the carport was just full to the top, but they've cleaned that up recently, and cleaned the place up a little bit recently," Charles Hall said.
"From our side we couldn't see any damage, but we saw the windows and stuff from the other side so I think if it had not been as cluttered that she may have been able to get out," Jennifer McGinnis said.
The woman's dog also died in the fire but her son was not injured.
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