Woman killed in Racine fire reportedly grabbed extinguisher

RACINE (WITI) -- A 78-year-old woman from Racine and her dog died in a house fire early Wednesday, January 8th. She is identified as Marilyn Christensen.

Now, FOX6 News has learned Christensen apparently attempted to use a fire extinguisher to put out the fire -- and fire officials say doing so may have cost her time she could have used to get out of the home.

However, fire officials aren't blaming grabbing the fire extinguisher for the woman's death. According to the woman's grandson, she wasn't very mobile.

A Medical Examiner ruled the woman's death as caused by soot and smoke inhalation -- as well as carbon monoxide.

We're told the woman never used the fire extinguisher -- which was found on a kitchen table. The woman was found in a bedroom -- according to officials.

A neighbor called 911 just after 8 a.m. when she noticed a front window on the victim's home on Webster St. had burst -- and smoke was billowing from it.

"I look out and… there's all this fire coming out," said Tami Tetzlaff.

Investigators say they do not know what caused the fire -- but it appears to be accidental. Officials believe the fire started in the living room.

Neighbors say the victim had health issues and used an oxygen tank. Officials say while it appears the tank eventually burst, they do not believe it contributed to starting the fire -- but may have helped to fuel the fire.