49-year-old woman found dead in Avery County house fire - | WBTV Charlotte

49-year-old woman found dead in Avery County house fire

(Steve Ohnesorge | WBTV) (Steve Ohnesorge | WBTV)
(Steve Ohnesorge | WBTV) (Steve Ohnesorge | WBTV)
AVERY COUNTY, NC (WBTV) -

An early morning house fire just outside of Newland on Highway 194 claimed the life of a woman.

The fire happened just before 5 a.m. on Thursday. A passerby spotted flames coming from a house in a wooded area and called 911. Fire crews had a difficult time getting equipment right up to the home because the passageway through the woods and weeds was so narrow. 

"There was no path into it," said Bryan Bodfor.

Despite that, the initial crews on the scene were able to start battling the flames quickly, then noticed they could see a woman inside.

"They tore out part of a window and wall to get to her," said Avery County Sheriff Kevin Frye. "They risked their lives to try to save her."

The woman, who was identified as 49-year-old Michele Warren, was pulled out and given CPR, but it was too late. 

Meanwhile, the fire kept raging in the house. Crews were not able to save the home but did keep flames from spreading elsewhere. 

Investigators are not sure how the fire started. They estimate part of the home was close to 100 years old. 

At the time of the fire, only Warren was home. They said her husband had an overnight job and was working at the time of the fire. 

Frye says the firefighters are heroes for all they did Wednesday. Linville Fireman Jeremy Franklin said it comes with the job every day. He was just sorry they were unable to save the woman who lived there.

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