By David Eck
SPRINGFIELD TWP. - Fire officials said a 79-year-old woman may have been unable to escape her burning Hamilton Avenue home Wednesday morning because the front door was blocked by furniture and locked.
Firefighters found the body of Mildred Wilson about 4 feet from the blocked door. Wilson usually entered and left the house at 10609 Hamilton Ave. through a back door near the kitchen, officials said.
Investigators believe the 8:34 a.m. fire started near the kitchen, Springfield Fire Chief Robert Leininger said. Investigators from a Hamilton County arson team were called to help with the investigation because of the death.
The fire, reported by a passing motorist, does not appear to be suspicious, Leininger said.
Firefighters found heavy fire coming from the rear of the small, white Cape Cod when they arrived, he said. They found the body quickly, but it was too late.
Aaron Uhlmansiek has lived next door to Wilson for more than a decade. He said she was an active woman who loved going to bingo and eating at Frisch's.
"She got out every day. She took care of me pretty well," Uhlmansiek said. "She always gave me Christmas presents, birthday presents."
Wilson lived alone, he said. She was planning to sell the house and move to Florida, where her children live and where she already had another residence, Uhlmansiek said.
"She told me the other day she was going to sell it this year," he said.
Damage to the house, which sits back off busy Hamilton Avenue, was estimated at $100,000, fire officials said.
Firefighters from Forest Park and Colerain Township assisted Springfield Township crews.
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