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Massena woman dies of injuries suffered in Dec. 19 blaze


MASSENA — A 68-year-old woman has died of injuries suffered in a house fire earlier this month.

MaryAnn S. Donnelly died Wednesday at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, Vt., one week after flames tore through the rental property where she lived.

Investigators ruled the cause of the fire was accidental due to smoking materials, Massena Volunteer Fire Department Chief Thomas C. Miller said last week.A dog died in the early-morning blaze.

A neighbor living across the road reported the fire at 2206A state Route 420 at 2:30 a.m., Chief Miller said. Mrs. Donnelly escaped the blaze and “was sitting on the side of the road” when firefighters arrived, the chief said. She initially was treated at Massena Memorial Hospital before being transferred to Vermont Medical Center.

Mrs. Donnelly was the only person living in the rental property, which Chief Miller said was owned by John Plourde.

The two-story residence was declared uninhabitable following the stubborn blaze, which kept firefighters occupied for more than four hours as complex construction made it harder for crews to move around inside the home.

Calling hours for Mrs. Donnelly, known as Shirley to family and friends, will be held Sunday at Phillips Memorial Home in Massena, with services set for Monday morning at the Church of the Sacred Heart.

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