A 79-year-old woman died in a fire early Wednesday morning in her Nashua mobile home.
Firefighters said that when they arrived at the burning home at 21 Mercury Lane, the closest hydrant was frozen because of the bitter cold.
Neighbors said they heard several small explosions followed by a larger explosion before a fireball erupted from the mobile home.
“It was really, really bright, red flame right in the center, and then the whole mobile home just engulfed in flames,” said neighbor Patrick Fedele. “It was just really, really terrible.”
Fedele estimated it was about 1:30 a.m. when he called 911. Fire officials said there was no chance to try to search the home when they arrived.
“The building was completely involved in fire,” said Deputy Fire Chief Glen MacDonald. “It was obvious that no way was anybody going to survive in the fire.”
Crews were able to keep the fire from spreading to any of the surrounding homes. As they fought the fire, they discovered that someone had died.
“We discovered that there is a fatality,” MacDonald said. “It took approximately 20 to 30 minutes to get the fire under control.”
The victim was later identified as Lorraine Malignaggi, 79. The cause of death was determined to be smoke inhalation, and her death was ruled an accident.
Lorraine Malignaggi Death – Obituary, Woman killed in fire at Nashua mobile home
Neighbors said Malignaggi had just moved in this summer after previously living in Massachusetts. They described her as quiet and someone who will be missed.
“She was a nice woman, you know?” Fedele said. “She really was, so it’s a tragedy.”
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but investigators said the damage is so significant it may be very difficult to pinpoint the cause.