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Woman dead after large house fire in south Tulsa

Neighbors say the victim was in her 90s. (KTUL)

Firefighters say a woman is dead after an overnight house fire in south Tulsa.

Crews responded around 11:30 p.m. to the fire near 56th and Utica. Firefighters got there within 30 to 45 seconds of receiving the call because they were already close by, but there was already smoke and flames coming out of the home.

Neighbors told firefighters that someone was still inside the home. Firefighters say they went in through a window to search for her, but there was so much stuff inside the house that it was difficult to get in and search.

“There appeared to be a hoarding situation," said Jon Steiner, Tulsa Fire Department district chief. "There were so many contents inside of the home, it made it next to impossible to get in to the house and to do a search.”

The flames became so intense they had to take a defensive attack on the outside of the home. They could not get back inside until they knocked down these flames.

A woman was later found dead in the home.

Neighbors identify her as Nancy Madden and say she was in her 90s.

“I’ve known her for 50 years and she was a very, very intelligent person," said a neighbor, Gerald Hayes. "She retired from city service. She was an executive secretary to the president of the city service company and I know she did a lot of volunteer work. I'm going to miss her."

Hayes said he has known Madden to be a hoarder for many years.

“That house was totally full," he said. "Just trails in there where you could barely walk. The garage was full. The patio was full. She collected this stuff supposedly for missionary work. They could have probably saved her had it not been so full of stuff.”

Investigators say the cause of the fire is still undetermined.

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