LOCKPORT– An elderly woman died Thursday afternoon in a fire at a one-story, single-family home at 120 Park Lane Circle, Fire Chief Patrick K. Brady said.
Marilyn “Sue” Simons, 83, was found dead in her living room, which is where the fire started, Brady said.
Gary and Joan Halstead, who live across the street, said Simons lived alone and had seldom been seen out of the house since her husband, Donald Sr., died in 1998. Her son, Donald Jr., died in 2013.
Brady said the woman was receiving daily visits from a home care aide.
Joan Halstead said Marilyn Simons was a heavy smoker.
Brady said the fire was reported at 12:12 p.m., and was confined to the living room, but it was notable for the unusual amount of heat it generated.
“It was extremely hot in there,” Brady said. “I would say that house was very well insulated.”
The heat was so intense it burst a large picture window, Brady said. Lockport firefighters, who responded in four minutes according to the chief, found flames coming out of that window.
The fire was quickly extinguished, with damage estimated at $40,000.
Detective Lt. Todd Chenez of the Lockport Police Department said the body was reportedly badly burned.
The cause of death and the cause of the fire are under investigation.
The Park Lane Circle fire was reported only a few minutes after firefighters had returned to the station from battling another house fire at 233 Cottage St., which was reported at 10:12 a.m., Brady said.
The entire back wall of that two-story home, owned by John Doxey, was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived, two minutes after the alarm.
Brady said the cause of the blaze was a malfunctioning toaster.
“They knew the toaster wasn’t working properly, but they were still using it,” the chief said.
A woman who was bedridden with multiple sclerosis was carried out of the house by family members and neighbors before the Fire Department arrived, Brady said.
No one was hurt. Damage was estimated at $45,000.