PENN HILLS (KDKA) — A 74-year-old woman died in a house fire in Penn Hills Christmas morning.

Neighbors say there was a lot of smoke pouring out of the home on Thon Drive in Penn Hills after 5 a.m.

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One woman tried to go in, but was pushed back by smoke.

The Penn Hills fire chief says the body of a woman was found five feet from the front door.

Firefighters could not go into the house immediately because of intense flames, possibly fueled by hoarding conditions inside.

Once the fire was under control, crews began searching the house. The fire chief says based on neighbor accounts, they were told the woman’s adult son was possibly inside. While they were searching, the son arrived at the home later in the morning.

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The son, Mark Lunsford, says his mother should have been the only one inside the house, identifying her as 74-year-old Norma McClain.

Allegheny County Fire Marshals were digging in the back of the home trying to determine how the fire started.

The chief says it started in the kitchen area, but still aren’t sure how.

There were several collapses as crews were fighting the fire.

Due to the risk of a larger collapse, an emergency excavation is scheduled for Friday.

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Heather Abraham