Woman Killed in Springfield Fire
Investigators are trying to figure out what started two separate fires at the same house on West Jefferson just hours apart early this morning. The second fire killed 63-year-old Eva Pellizzari of Springfield.
"Big flames, bursting into flames, and she didn't make it out," said neighbor Stephanie Crayne.
"We talked a lot, conversated. She was a very nice lady, good woman, good-hearted," Crayne said.
Firefighters fought two fires during the early morning hours: both at the same house.
"One came in at 12:47 a.m., on the far end of the building. It was a very small fire contained to the kitchen area," said Springfield Fire Chief Ken Fustin.
That's when Crayne heard the fire trucks and rushed outside.
"My neighbor, of course, she was okay. She wanted to get back to her pets. She loved her pets dearly," Crayne said.
It was only a few hours later when fire crews were called back to a fire at the same house.
"We were called here again at 5:03 this morning for a fire at the complete opposite end of this duplex. While searching the inside of the duplex, our members found an unconscious 63-year-old female who was transported to the hospital and eventually pronounced dead," said Fustin.
Officials say the second fire was not a rekindle of the first blaze.
"We believe at this time that these are two separate fires. Both of these fires we believe at this time to be suspicious and they're being investigated accordingly," Fustin said.
Crayne hopes investigators find the clues they need to determine what caused the fire that ended her friend's life.
"It just feels like a dream. It feels like a dream. Like it's not real," Crayne said.
Fustin tells us the fire was a difficult and very dangerous fire to fight. Pellizzari had a lot of stuff inside, making it difficult for firefighters to maneuver through the house.
Pellizzari lived alone in the duplex.
Officials say the state fire marshal is using a dog specially trained to search for evidence, such as accelerants that could be used in arsons.