Deputy Chief: Woman dies following Fall River fire; hoarding situation hampers effort

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) – Firefighters in Fall River struggled to fight an early morning fire over the weekend that took the life of one woman.

Acting Deputy Chief Sean Flannery said Lillian Cordeiro, 74, of Fall River was pronounced dead at St. Anne’s Hospital shortly after the flames broke out early Sunday.  He said it appears Cordeiro may have suffered from smoke inhalation, though an official cause of death had not yet been determined.

The call came in around 3 a.m. Sunday. Flannery said Cordeiro was the only person inside the triple-decker home on Orswell Street.

He said the cause of the fire is believed to be an extension cord on the second floor that eventually traveled up to the third floor.

Flannery said crews had a tough time fighting the fire because of hundreds of boxes in Cordeiro’s home – which crews had to move before they could knock down the fire. He said the outcome of the fire may have been different if firefighters weren’t impeded.