Woman dies from White Swan house fire

Woman dies from White Swan house fire »Play Video

WHITE SWAN, Wash. -- An elderly woman has died following a fire at her home in White Swan. The 71-year-old was flown to a burn center, but couldn't survive her injuries. Her sister was also flown to Seattle and is still recovering in the hospital.

"I'd always walk by and tell them good morning," said neighbor Lila Shawaway.

Linda and Cheryl Hart were well-liked by neighbors on Maple Avenue.

"I used to come over and sit with them and visit and see all her cats,” said Lila. “She had about 15 to 20 of them. She loved her cats."

The sisters were severely burned when a fire started behind a couch Tuesday morning. Multiple neighbors rushed to help.

"Me and my wife, we were sitting right over there and it was just, 'oh my god I can't believe that fire was just engulfing everybody,'" said neighbor Norman Robinson.

The women were pulled out of the home by a neighbor, who was also hurt while trying to rescue them.

Alex Thompson was also there to help.

"All I felt like is at least we gave her a fighting chance," said Alex.

Investigators blame an electrical problem for sparking the flames.

"Cheryl's room was right here and Linda's was back there," said Lila.

Friends told me Linda used to work at the Job Corps Center in White Swan before she retired.

"She'd be sitting out here looking at her flowers,” said Lila. “They were right there in front. She's sitting on her chair just planting her flowers."

Linda also volunteered at a food bank. Sister Cheryl Hart works at the Yakama Nation Casino. She's currently in stable condition at a Seattle hospital.

Firefighters say the home is a total loss. It’s a charred reminder of the tragedy that came to this quiet neighborhood.

"It's devastating to lose somebody like that,” said Norman. “We're all tight knit family around here."

The neighbor who helped pull the sisters out of the home, was released from the hospital the same day.

A hospital spokesperson says there's no time frame when Cheryl Hart might be released from the hospital.