An 82-year-old woman died Wednesday morning when her home near North 76th and Izard Streets caught fire and she was unable to escape.
Helen Jacobson lived alone in the house at 837 N. 76th St., according to her son, Reid Jacobson, 60.
“We don't know anything yet on how it happened,'' said Jacobson, who lives in the Keystone neighborhood northwest of his mother's house.
A neighbor called 911 at 6:18 a.m. to report smoke in the area, said Battalion Chief John McCormick. As firefighters approached the home north of the Crossroads Mall, they reported heavy smoke. Douglas County 911 emergency dispatchers alerted them to the possibility that a person was trapped in a back bedroom.
McCormick said foul play is not suspected, but the cause of the fire was not immediately known.
Sarah Chamberlain, 30, who lives next door, described Jacobson as a good neighbor.
“I always felt safe coming home. She knew what was going on,'' Chamberlain said.
“She always had lots of gardening tips. Lots of gardening tips.”
Another neighbor, Valeria Scamperino, 83, said she and Jacobson were good friends. “I just talked to her yesterday or the day before.''
A water main near the home broke following the fire; the cause was under investigation. A Metropolitan Utilities District crew shut off water service off to 45 customers in the area. Service was expected to be restored by early Wednesday afternoon, MUD said.