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'Severe' hoarding conditions contributed to Elyria fire that killed 1, fire chief says

Fire Chief Joe Pronesti says there were severe hoarding problems inside of the home and that firefighters had limited mobility and access to get through the house.

ELYRIA, Ohio — Investigators with the Elyria Fire Department say that hoarding conditions contributed to a blaze Tuesday afternoon that killed one woman. 

According to Fire Chief Joe Pronesti, Elyria Fire received a call around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday for a fire in the 400 block of Oxford Avenue. Upon arrival, firefighters found heavy smoke and flames in the basement, where the female victim was later located. 

The woman, later identified as Sarah Goulet, was immediately rushed to University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center where she was soon after pronounced dead.

3News' Lydia Esparra spoke with Goulet's neighbor, David Thompson, who said that he did notice the woman accumulating items and that the tragedy is felt in the community. 

"This is not a way for someone to go," Thompson said. No, it’s a horrible way, just awful.”

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Chief Pronesti tells 3News that the fire is still under investigation but that there were severe hoarding problems inside of the house and that firefighters had limited mobility and access to get through the home.

Fire officials performed an emergency demolition late Tuesday afternoon. 

"The lesson here is the clutter is too much it can be a problem in an emergency,” said Chief Pronesti.  

Police also say Goulet suffered from mental disorders but did not provide any additional details. 

The incident remains under investigation. No other information is available at this time. 

This is a developing story. Check back with 3News for updates as we receive them. 

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