Update: DA Early’s office has identified the victim.
WESTBOROUGH — Firefighters responded to a fire on 55 Belknap Street in Westborough that ultimately led to the death of an elderly woman early Monday afternoon.
Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early Jr.’s office has identified the victim as Evelyn M. McGlory, 86.
At 1:44 p.m., firefighters received a 911 call reporting that a building was on fire. Crews arrived to find heavy fire at the front of the building and smoke billowing from windows and doors. First responders also received reports that a person was trapped in the house.
Fire Chief Patrick Purcell said that firefighters “aggressively made an interior attack and performed the search and rescue.”
First responders located McGlory in the living room of the home. Her injuries were extensive, and McGlory was pronounced dead on the scene. She is believed to have been a resident of the home, according to Purcell.
Although the department is still investigating the cause of the fire, Purcell said that the fire likely originated inside the home.
Firefighters dealt with intense winds that created a brush fire toward the back of the house. Several propane tanks on the house’s deck also exploded when firefighters arrived, Purcell said.
“It was a challenge,” Purcell said. “It was already a dangerous enough environment that when those explosions occurred, it just put us at an increased risk.”
Firefighters first attempted a rescue “without the protection of a hose line when they first arrived on the scene.” One Westborough officer suffered smoke inhalation and was transported to UMass Memorial Health as a precaution. One firefighter received minor burns to his hands and was treated by paramedics on the scene.
“We work and train every day to try to avoid incidents like this, so when we arrive at a scene and… we are not as successful as we would like, it’s a dark day for the fire department and the family especially,” Purcell said.
Purcell noted that while officials do not believe the fire was suspicious, and Massachusetts Crime Scene Services was consulted.
The Westborough Fire Department solicited help from the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services, the Code Compliance Unit, and the Massachusetts State Police.
As of 3:38 p.m., the fire was considered to be under control.