A woman who died after being pulled from a Maryland house fire was identified as Judy Marion, 72, who dedicated her life to rescuing dogs.
Marion ran a rottweiler rescue group out of her house and, according to her website, she helped find homes for over a thousand dogs.
"She was always just so warm and friendly and it was very easy to see that she was an animal lover," Liz Springer, Marion's friend, said. "She just had that very special spirit."
Montgomery County firefighters were dispatched to a two-story house in the 15000 block of Darnestown Road about 7:15 p.m. Sunday. They arrived to find flames leaping from the home and "extreme" hoarding conditions inside, they said.
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They rescued Marion from the first floor of the house, but she later died of her injuries at a hospital.
Two dogs also died in the blaze. Four other dogs at the property survived.
The home is located in an area without fire hydrants, so crews had to truck in water. Fire Chief Scott Goldstein said neighbors also tried going inside the house to help with rescue effort, but the flames and the heat were too intense.
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"Neighbors and passerby were using a bucket brigade as well as the snow to try to address the fire that was inside," Goldstein said.
Fire officials said the fire started in the first floor living room. They said the cause was an unknown malfunction or failure of an electrical component, and believe the house did not have working smoke alarms.
In the coming days, they’ll canvass the neighborhood and pass out smoke detectors to neighbors. They estimated damage at $85,000.
"God bless Judy and her efforts to help these dogs," Springer said. "I hope they continue in her name. She’s gonna be greatly missed in our community."