Attempted fire rescue falls short in Dunellan

A 60-year-old woman is dead after flames tore through her Dunellan home Sunday.

Barbara Schafer called 911 before 1 p.m. saying she was trapped by a fire raging in her living room. Neighbor Steve Manella tried to find a ladder to help the woman escape after hearing her yells from a second-story bathroom window.

Manella says he instructed the woman to keep her head out the window while he looked for a ladder nearby. After his search ended in vain, Manella says Schafer disappeared into the smoke. According to firefighters, Schafer collapsed in the bathroom before dying.

An investigation into the fire is pending. Officials believe Schafer's pet dog also fell victim to the flames.

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