Elderly woman dead in Niles house fire - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Elderly woman dead in Niles house fire

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NILES, Ohio - Smoke billowing from a home on Ohio Avenue was the first sign to neighbors that something was wrong.

"I saw smoke coming from the neighbors attic vent in the chimney and I came around front and I opened the front door and I saw black smoke. I saw fire in the living room and I screamed Sally's name," says Angela Vincent of Niles.

That's when another neighbor says he called for help before trying to save victim Sally Spelich, 70, who was home alone.

"I called 911 and then I went in to try to get in there, but I couldn't get in the door because the smoke and heat," says neighbor David Petrilla.

Spelich was rescued from her charred home. She was still alive when firefighters pulled her to safety.

But the fire department confirms she later died.

At times, the heat and flames were powerful enough to force windows to shatter.

Investigators say the blaze was accidental, though they will run tests to determine what exactly caused the fire. They say they do know it started in the living room.

"Fire seems to have started on the south wall of the living room. We searched the residence, we found a 70 some year old lady laying in the kitchen. It appears she tried to put the fire out herself, the sink water was running. We found her on the floor in front of the sink ... over come by smoke," says Lt. Rodney Freel with the Niles Fire Department.

The home suffered heavy fire and smoke damage.

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