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Woman, 47, dead after 2-alarm house fire in Lancaster Co. - abc27 WHTM

Woman, 47, dead after 2-alarm house fire in Lancaster Co.

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ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. (WHTM) -

A 47-year-old woman died this morning in an house fire in Mount Joy Township, according to Northwest Regional Police Chief Mark Mayberry.

Mayberry said firefighters' attempts to rescue Judy Risser were unsuccessful. The home on the 300 block of Hershey Road, also known as Route 743, was fully engulfed in flames when crews arrived. Officials say it broke out at 8:15 a.m. and eventually went to two alarms.

Firefighters discovered Risser's body once the fire was extinguished. Mayberry said she was found on the first floor laying by the door.

"It's a very helpless feeling to know someone is in there and that you can't get in there to get them out," Mayberry said.

Risser's boyfriend also attempted to rescue her, according to Mayberry. He suffered from smoke inhalation and was treated at the hospital.

"He explained that he tried to pull her out but he couldn't. You could definitely tell he was in there. He was close to the heat. The hair on his face as singed. It's sad. In an instant so tragic and something he will live with and have to deal with for the rest of his life," said Kaila Manuel, neighbor.

Risser was the mother of two sons and was also a grandmother, said Adai Burek, who was friends with Risser and also a stepmother to one of Risser's sons.

"She was a great person, nice, fun-loving. She liked to take her bike out. She was definitely a Harley woman, and she was a really good grandmother and mother to her kids," said Burek.

Route 743 near the intersection with Route 283 was shut down for nearly eight hours Tuesday It reopened around 5:30 p.m.

Detective Kenneth M. Henry from the Northwest Regional Police Department and members of the State Police Fire Investigators are attempting to determine the cause of the fire. 

Anyone with possible information is asked to call the Northwest Lancaster County Regional Police Department 717-367-8481.

Fire Department personnel from Elizabethtown, Rheems, Mount Joy and Middletown responded to the fire.

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