Woman found dead after Norfolk house fire; officials suspect foul play

Posted at 8:09 PM, Jun 11, 2014
and last updated 2014-06-12 16:42:52-04

Norfolk, Va. - A woman has died after a house fire in Norfolk on Wednesday.

Emergency officials were notified about the fire on Vivian Street at 6:14 p.m. Units arrived moments later.

Crews forced the door open and they started to attack the fire. The woman was found at around 6:26 p.m. officials say.

Authorities say foul play may have caused the woman’s death. The cause of the fire is unknown but officials are calling it suspicious.

The woman's identity has not officially been released, though neighbors are saying her name is Dorothy. Officials are waiting for her body to come back from the Medical Examiner before a release is made.

The woman was home alone at the time. The man who neighbors say rented out a room in the back was not at home. Fire officials say they haven't been able to find the man since the fire but that he isn't a suspect at this time.

“It’s just hard to think of it. I’ve known her so many years and just across the street like that. I wouldn’t wish that on anybody,” says Rickie Pearce, a neighbor and friend.

She admitted that the woman who lived in the home could be difficult.

“I’m probably the only one around here who shed a tear for her,” says Pearce.

Neighbors say the woman was an animal lover who owned two dogs. One of the dogs died and another dog and a cat are now being treated.