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Woman, 5 cats die after Bay Area house fire

Published: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 8:42 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 8:42 a.m.

HAYWARD — A fire official says "excess hoarding" hampered efforts to rescue a 77-year-old woman from a deadly house fire in Hayward.

The Alameda County Coroner's office said Lorraine Carvalho died Sunday afternoon after suffering second-degree burns.

Hayward assistant fire marshal Thor Poulsen said a man who spotted smoke coming from Carvalho's house tried to kick the front door to get to her, but he couldn't get through because of newspapers and other debris piled behind the door.

Firefighters had to remove the front door to get inside.

The Contra Costa Times reports (http://bit.ly/15qR6hJ) Carvalho was found face down in a pile of newspapers, animal feces and rubble. She suffered burns to her legs and arms.

Five cats died in the fire, and five more were found alive outside the house.

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