Neighbors react to deadly house fire in Wales

WALES, Mass. (WWLP) – Neighbors are mourning the death of an elderly woman who was found dead after a house in Wales caught fire early Sunday morning.

Wales Fire Chief John Croke told 22News they were called to a house fire at 21 Lake George Road at around 5:15 Sunday morning.

Christian Nolan lives directly across the street, and woke up to several fire trucks and police cruisers. “My dog was barking, we looked across the street, and there was already one of the fire trucks parked there, waiting for the fire department, the house was completely engulfed in flames,” he said.

He said thick, white smoke could be seen billowing out of the house, as flames shot through the roof. “They were high, probably about 30-feet, shooting up into the trees,” he said.

Nolan said his first thought was his neighbor. An elderly woman, whose car remained in the driveway. “She was a nice lady, a nice little old lady,” he said.

Chief Croke told 22News crews from Holland, Brimfield, Monson, and Stafford, Connecticut were called in to help extinguish the flames.

Even with the additional crews, there was still one major problem, there’s no fire hydrants in the town of Wales.  Instead, firefighters had to wait for tanker cars to deliver water from surrounding communities.

Once crews had enough water, it took them about 45 minutes to get the flames under control, but Chief Croke said it was already too late. “It was reported that there was an occupant still in the house, at this time we’re confirming there was one occupant in the house that did not make it out of the house,” he said.

The State Fire Marshall’s office confirmed that the victim was an elderly woman.

They said the cause of the fire hasn’t yet been determined.

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