FREEPORT — A 68-year-old woman who apparently was overcome by heavy smoke died early Saturday when a fire swept through her house on Wardtown Road, authorities said.

The body of Donelda Madore was found near the stairs in the living room of the split-story ranch, said Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

McCausland said it appeared that she was overcome by the smoke while trying to escape the fire, which was reported around 1 a.m. by her husband, David Madore, 69. He and two others who were in the house managed to escape the fire.

McCausland said David Madore tried to go back into the house to find his wife, but was forced back by the smoke.

The house was destroyed by the blaze, with most of the roof collapsed and heavy fire and smoke damage throughout.

Fire investigators from the State Fire Marshal’s Office believe the fire started in the attic. An investigation into the cause is ongoing.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: