An 84-year-old woman was killed in a house fire in North Haven Saturday night, according to fire officials.
Police said that Lucille Brunelli was alone in her home at the corner of Ridge Road and Cooper Road when fire broke out.
Fire officials responded when neighbors who spotted the blaze called 911. By the time crews arrived, there was heavy smoke in the rear of the house. The immediately began to search for occupants inside.
Firefighters found Brunelli inside the home. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Fire officials said that she died of smoke inhalation.
Stephen Accetura, who identified himself as a friend of hers, said Brunelli lived alone in the home after her husband died.
“She always was nice to me. She always needed something so she made sure I came back here, and I was happy I did,” Accetura said.
Officials said the fire appears to have started in the kitchen. Neighbors said it appeared to have been burning for a long time.
“The back of the house was fully engulfed. There was actually a really great Good Samaritan who called the fire in, who was driving by and saw - a young couple,” said Rick Johnson, who lives in the area.
“There were people who tried opening the door but they couldn’t get in because the smoke just rushed right out,” said neighbor Cameron Owens.
The Connecticut State Police and North Haven Police are assisting in the investigation. The cause of the fire is under investigation.