An 82-year-old woman died Sunday night after a fire broke out in her apartment and destroyed parts of a Maple Shade apartment building.
The flames were too intense by the time firefighters arrived to save Angelina Constantine, who was partially disabled and unable to escape, according to Fire Chief Andrew Simonsick.
"We made every attempt to get in there and get her out, but the fire was just way too bad," he said.
More than 40 other residents escaped uninjured from the 20-unit building of the Maple Terrace Apartments on Rudderow Avenue.
"Everyone else got out alive and fine," Simonsick said.
Two Maple Shade firefighters required medical treatment. One had dehydration and minor burns, the other a shoulder injury, Simonsick said.
Eight apartments in the two-story building were destroyed, and the other 12 suffered various degrees of smoke and water damage, the chief said. The two-alarm blaze was under control between 9 and 9:30 p.m., Simonsick said.
"It definitely wasn't arson. It was accidental in nature," Simonsick said. "Nothing suspicious about this fire."
The American Red Cross was at the scene just after 2 a.m. Monday, helping 14 families and providing eight with hotel rooms, according to Joe Blazejewski, chief executive officer of the American Red Cross of Burlington County.
Blazejewski said some of the families might have to stay in hotel rooms through Christmas.