A woman was killed in a fire in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, on Sunday after she saved her family but “was apparently overcome by the smoke” as she reentered the home to try to save their pets, authorities say.
The name of the victim was not immediately released.
The home’s two other residents were taken to a hospital after inhaling smoke but are expected to be OK.
The house fire broke out early Sunday in the 10100 block of Jim Morris Road, Spotsylvania Fire, Rescue, & Emergency Management said. Crews received a report that someone was trapped and responded at about 8 a.m.
Firefighters arrived within five minutes and found heavy smoke and fire, the department said.
According to an initial investigation, the woman who would be killed in the fire discovered the blaze and helped her “elderly” husband and sister get out.
She went back into the burning home to try to save several pets but was unable to make it back out safely, the department said.
Investigators are working to determine the cause of the deadly fire. A photo shows the charred wreckage.
The fire department extended condolences to the family but warned fire victims to never return into a burning building.
“We mourn with the family at the loss of their loved one who died after heroically saving other family members,” they said. “We ask everyone to never re-enter a building on fire to save pets or belongings, urging everyone to ‘get out and stay out’ in the event of a fire.”
Stay with NBC Washington for more details on this developing story.