The woman who died Tuesday in a four-alarm fire at a garden-style apartment complex in Lorton, Virginia, has been identified as Mary Ann Brookie, 34.
Brookie lived at 8228 Catbird Circle in Lorton, where Fairfax County firefighters responded around 3 p.m. Tuesday to find heavy smoke and fire coming from the third floor of the building.
Fire officials said the fire spread to the fourth floor, attic and roof before it could be brought under control about two hours later.
A visibly distraught man, identified by neighbors as the victim's fiance, was led away from the scene by officials, reported News4's Jackie Bensen.
Her neighbors said Brookie had a broken ankle at the time of the fire.
Fire investigators said the fire was accidental and was caused by improperly discarded smoking materials. The materials were in the victim's apartment, said Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department Public Information Officer Dan Schmidt.
Many other residents were trapped on the higher floors and had to be rescued.
"We went to four alarms today because of the extensive fire and because of the number of rescues the firefighters had to make," said Fairfax County Fire Department Chief Richard Bower.
As the fire grew stronger, firefighters had to adjust from an interior search and rescue to an external one due to the force of the flames. Approximately 160 firefighters ultimately went to the scene, and six suffered minor injuries.
"The plume, the wind was pushing that fire," neighbor Suzanne Schaefer said. "I don't mean to be selfish, this woman died, but we're so lucky [to be OK]."
Twelve apartments were severely damaged, and 36 residents were displaced. One resident was treated by paramedics at the scene but was not taken to a hospital.
Damage is estimated at $1 million.