NEW CASTLE (KDKA) — NEW CASTLE (KDKA) — An elderly woman has died in a house fire that occurred this afternoon in New Castle.

Officials say a 92-year-old woman who lived by herself was found dead in the kitchen of the home at 1709 Gretchen Avenue.

Fire crews responded just after 2:00 Sunday afternoon for reports of heavy smoke coming from the home and a person potentially trapped inside.

When firefighters arrived, bystanders were attempting to break into the home, but heavy flames prevented them from getting in.

The smoke and flames were so dense, firefighters could not find anyone in the home at first.

“Once we extinguished the flames in the kitchen area, that’s where we discovered the victim had expired,” said Michael Kobbe, Assistant Fire Chief at the New Castle Fire Department.

The kitchen was the most severely damaged portion of the house, but the rest of the home also had extensive smoke and heat damage.

Kobbe said the home is a total loss.

“Everything was burned where we couldn’t really tell what was what,” Kobbe said. “So, the stove was burned very badly, but all the elements around it, pots, pans and so forth were burnt to the point where we couldn’t tell what was where.”

Some of the victim’s family members were on the scene. One woman became so emotional, she suffered a medical episode and was taken to the hospital for evaluation.

The victim’s identity has not been released, and the cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

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Shelby Cassesse