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Modesto house fire claims woman's life

A woman died early Friday in a house fire in south Modesto, officials said.

Mounds of clutter in the home at 1534 Inyo Ave. hindered firefighters from finding her initially in the flames and smoke, Modesto Fire Battalion Chief Rich Sasser said. "But it was probably not a survivable situation when we got there."

Flames were shooting out windows by the time neighbors called 911 at 4:15 a.m., according to reports. Officials called a second alarm when neighbors told them the woman might be in the home, and 22 firefighters brought the blaze under control, Sasser said.

Firefighters found the woman's body in the front room near a space heater that probably ignited nearby books or papers, Sasser said.

The woman's name and age were being withheld pending notification of family. The coroner's office is expected to do an autopsy, Sasser said.

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