A 66-year-old woman was found dead Friday morning inside a fire-ravaged home in northern Montgomery County.

Authorities were investigating the blaze, which blew up propane tanks and raged through the house on Fennel Road in Pennsburg before firefighters could get it under control.

The fire broke out at 7:15. By the time firefighters arrived, the house was engulfed in flames, the tanks were exploding, and rescuers could not get inside, state police said. After the blaze was extinguished, the victim was found dead inside. Pathologists were trying to confirm the woman's identity.

Records indicate that Alexis K. Stevens, 66, lived there. Neighbors told police she lived alone.

The victim "was extensively burned and charred beyond recognition," Montgomery County Coroner Walter I. Hofman said Friday. He said he would try to determine whether the woman died before the fire started.

The Montgomery County SPCA removed ducks and chickens from a cage outside the house. - Kathy Boccella