Neighbors Speak Out About Fatal Fire in Lockport Neighborhood

March 14, 2012 Updated Mar 14, 2012 at 2:06 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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March 14, 2012 Updated Mar 14, 2012 at 2:06 PM EDT

LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WKBW) - A fatal fire ripped through a home on Carolina Avenue taking the life of 56 year old Yvette Thornton.

"She was a wonderful person," Neighbor Kelly Wilson said.

Kelly Wilson remembers Thornton, her next-door neighbor and friend. She said the Thornton lived alone with her Pomeranian puppy named Cupcake who also died in the fire.

"She was the perfect neighbor a really good person. She had a dog, a Pomeranian. On nice days she was always out walking her dog and talking with neighbors," Wilson said.

Wilson and her family were also evacuated from their home.

Surprisingly, their house only suffered minor damage considering fire officials said the blaze next-door was so intense.

Crews arrived on scene around 9p.m. Tuesday night after a passerby called 911, but Lockport Assistant Fire Chief Bruce Scheffler said the blaze could have started hours earlier. When they got there, the house was already engulfed in flames.

"Our search and rescue team were met with flames about five feet at the front. We went around the rear door so we had to knock it down by the time we did the search we were not able to save the person," Scheffler said.

Wilson is shocked that this happened in their quiet community.

"It's pretty scary. No one expects this to happen in their neighborhood and to people they know," Wilson said.

Neighbor Debbie Corica agrees.

"It's just horrible when something like this happens in your neighborhood because we are a close neighborhood. We're there for one another. Even if we don't know the person there is always someone there who would come and help," Corica said.