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Elderly Woman Dies, Man Critically Injured After Fire Ravages Home In Bensalem

By Anita Oh

BENSALEM, Pa. (CBS) —  A 92-year-old woman has died after her home caught fire in Bucks County Tuesday morning.

Around 5:30 a.m., neighbor Michael Cavallo watched as smoke and flames burst out of a home across the street on the 2200 block of Byberry Road.

"I kind of couldn't believe it. End to end, pretty much as far as you could see," Cavallo said.

"I'll tell you, through the trees it does not look good, at all. It looks like a mess over there."

Bensalem firefighters rescued 92-year-old Julia Pachucki, who was trapped in a bedroom on the first floor.

She later died at Temple University Hospital.

A man inside of the home was able to escape the fire on his own, but remains in critical condition at the same hospital.

Firefighters say a massive amount of belongings inside complicated rescue efforts.

"The house was a hoarding house, a lot of combustible material, boxes floor to ceiling. [Firefighters were] moving bookshelves. They're moving boxes. They're moving trash bags just to get to where the fire's at," said Bensalem Fire Department Battalion Chief Robert Sponheimer.

He says at one point, he had to pull his firefighters out of the home because of the dangerous amounts of debris and instead attack the fire from the outside.

He says it took more than an hour and half to control the flames.

"Hoarding is becoming more and more of a problem, and it's dangerous not only for the occupants but also for the first responders that go inside," he said.

It's not yet clear how the fire started.

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