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Okaloosa County overnight fire claims one life
OKALOOSA COUNTY -- An elderly woman is dead after an overnight fire in Okaloosa County.
Firefighters were called to a house on Gardner Drive about 12:45 this morning.
Firefighters say flames were coming out of the roof when they got here.
They think the fire started in this room at the corner of the house.
What's left, charred and blackened, shows how destructive it was.
Neighbors describe a scene out of a movie.
Jim Heavener says everything outside his window was red, from flashing lights.
Jim Heavener: "There were fire trucks and ambulances and vehicles like police all the way up the street, and all the way around the side street."
Firefighters got the fire under control quickly, but they think it had been burning for some time.
Inside, they found an 89-year-old woman, unconscious in the living room.
Neighbors have identified her as Waltraud Guerra, they called her "Wally".
Fire crews did CPR and got her to the hospital, but she passed away.
Jim :"They were doing their very best, and I was proud of them."
Frances Bergschneider often visited with "Wally" in her front yard.
Frances Bergschneider: "She says she has seven kids, they're all in different states, but she never got to see them, 'cause they always had things to do.'"
Guerra had lived alone since her husband passed away about a year ago.
Bergschneider says she saw the fire trucks down the street, and hoped it wasn't her friend.
Frances " Somebody that you thought really not a person but she was nice and kind."
The State Fire Marshal's Office says the cause was probably electrical.
They say there were a lot of things stored in that room, and a lamp was plugged in near where the fire started.