Family mourns loss of elderly woman, dead after house fire

TROTWOOD, Ohio (WDTN) – An 85-year-old woman is dead after her home went up in flames, early Tuesday morning.

Authorities are still working to determine what exactly sparked the deadly fire. It happened on Glenncross Drive in Trotwood.

Distraught family members gathered at the scene, crying, hugging, and remembering the victim: Mary Francis.

Her nephew, Marquett Dorsey described Francis as “sweet” and “caring”.

“She’s real caring,” Dorsey said. “Do anything for anybody. She’d bend over backwards.”

Caution tape lines the home where family says Francis – a huge fan of the Cincinnati Bengals – lived by herself.

Her nieces and nephews say Francis was the matriarch of the family and would often host family parties.

“Everybody came together (here), had family reunions,” Francis’ niece Ina Caserta said.

“We use to swim and laugh. This was the place that was the happiest. Everybody was happy.”

Dorsey added: “She’d bring the family together.”

When fire crews arrived on scene, they found heavy smoke and flames inside the home.

“With the wind blowing, the smoke was coming across the street. But crews were able to make a quick entry and find the victim,” fire chief Rick Haacke said.

“There was working smoke detectors when crews entered… Nothing looks suspicious at this time.”

Fire officials could not say which part of the home the fire may have started in or what exactly sparked the blaze The incident is still under investigation.

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