SOMERVILLE – An 86-year-old woman died Saturday night when fire swept through her home on Long Pond.

Fire investigators found the body of Pauline Danley in the second-floor bedroom of her home off Frye Road, the state Fire Marshal’s Office said.

Firefighters mounted rescue efforts but were turned back by the extreme heat of the flames.

“When we got on scene the heat was so intense — the house had a metal roof — it was just like an oven in there,” said Somerville Fire Chief Michael Dostie. “We gained entry in the back of the home, to the kitchen, but the heat was so intense we were only able to get 10 to 12 feet in.”

Firefighters from five departments — Somerville, Whitefield, Jefferson, Windsor and Washington — extinguished the blaze, which was reported by a neighbor shortly before 8 p.m.

Dostie said firefighters arrived within a minute of the call, but the waterfront home was already ablaze.

Flames were coming out of the attic of the home, which had all of its living space on the second floor, he said.

“We knew she was in there, a neighbor had talked to her 20 minutes earlier,” Dostie said. “The opportunity (to rescue her) just was not there.”


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