104-year-old woman dies in Whitehaven house fire

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A 104-year-old woman died in a house fire in Whitehaven, according to neighbors.

Memphis fire officials said the woman was found dead inside the kitchen at her home on Hester Road near Elvis Presley Boulevard. They are waiting for family to be notified before releasing the woman's identity.

Crews arrived at the home just before lunch on Friday to plumes of smoke pouring out.

"I looked, the house with all the smoke, and I was like 'oh wow.' If her car in there in the garage, she is definitely in the house," neighbor Jearldine Brown said. "She was very independent. We would drive by and just wave and sometimes I would just walk down the street because I would like to be familiar with my neighbor and make sure she was OK."

Memphis Fire Department spokesman Lt. Wayne Cooke said fire crews forced their way into the home. Once inside, he said an elderly woman was found dead inside her kitchen.

Investigators believe the fire was likely caused by faulty wiring.

"While the cause of the fire is under investigation, it's believed to be electrical," Cooke said.

The sudden and unexpected loss of the woman devastated Brown--a neighbor she lived next to for several decades.

"She will be greatly missed," Brown said.

Despite Friday's cold temperatures, officials said it did not create any issues while trying to put out the fire.

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