CANARSIE, Brooklyn — Anna Barthelemy recently celebrated her 95th Birthday. Saturday afternoon she died in a fire that started in the basement of this Carnasie home on 93rd street— a home she lived in for the past 20 years.
"She was a very church going woman always singing she was a deaconess at church always praying, teaching us bible versus and songs in English and Creole she has a lot of friends and grand kids," said granddaughter Fabiola Benoit.
Benoit rushed home when she heard about the fire. But it was too late her grandmother had passed.
Next door neighbor, Elyse Souffint, says it all happened so fast.
"When I came out, there was a lot of smoke coming out through the windows and fire department said get out of the house."
Souffint says the owner of the home told him a TV exploded and that's what caused the blaze.
"She was upstairs and she heard a boom."
Fire officials could not confirm the cause of the blaze.
FDNY quickly arrived on the scene within two minutes of the 911 call.
However they had difficulty getting to the basement because they say there was a lot of clutter blocking the stairs.
It was that clutter, authorities said, that fueled the fire and gave off intense heat.
"It's very hard to see the house like this and that my grandmother passed away from this," said Benoit.
Late Saturday night the fire marshal was still investigating the cause of the blaze.