An elderly woman died Tuesday morning when she was unable to get out of her burning West Seattle apartment.

A neighbor tried to rescue the woman as the fire burned through her apartment on the 9000 block of 45th Avenue Southwest. He called 911 to report a crackling noise and the smell of smoke. The man pounded on the woman's door, but was soon overwhelmed by fire.

She was found about 12-feet from the door, said Kyle Moore, spokesman for the Seattle Fire Department.

The woman has not yet been identified.

The apartment is filled with stored items, making it difficult to determine where exactly the fire started, though firefighters found the worst damage in the living room.

Fellow tenants say the woman is a long-time resident, who had a medical condition and required oxygen.

The owner says all of the units have smoke detectors, said Moore. The neighbor that pounded on the door said he did not hear the smoke detector.

SeattleFire will continue to investigate a cause.

All 19 units in the apartment complex were evacuated for a short time.

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