59-year-old woman killed in fire on Milwaukee's south side

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A fire on Milwaukee's south side left a 59-year-old woman dead. It happened late Thursday night, April 28 near 18th and National. By the time fire crews arrived the woman had already died. They say she didn’t have any working smoke detectors in her unit and they could have saved her life. 

The Milwaukee Fire Department went door-to-door in that same area Friday morning, April 29 to offer free smoke detectors and installation.

Firefighters say the fatal fire started in the bedroom.

"Flames started shooting up through the roof, so we started pounding on the door trying to make sure everyone gets out, to evacuate but unfortunately not everyone did," Kirsten Nelson said. He saw the fire when it started.

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office is working to identify the woman. She suffered extensive thermal burns. Firefighters say she was found in her room on the floor next to the bed.

"It's someone's mother on the floor, someone's sister that perished in this fire. It's horrible that it can be prevented with something as easy as a smoke detector being installed," said Milwaukee Fire Department Assistant Chief of Operations, Russel Rivard. 

Neighbor Ana Lynch got a few smoke detectors from the fire department for her units.

"I feel good and I feel blessed and now I am going to feel safe, we all need it," Lynch said. 

Three people were able to get out of the building before the fire crews arrived.

If you need a free smoke detector and would like it installed call the smoke alarm hotline at 414-286-8980.

The cause of the fire are still under investigation.

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