DAVIDSON, N.C. -- Investigators say a large pile of debris covering the body is why they didn't initially find the elderly victim of a house fire in Davidson.
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Authorities have not identified the woman, but neighbors say she is 84 year-old Gay Nell Menscer, who lived on Grey Road for decades.
The state issued a silver alert for Menscer Wednesday morning as a missing senior citizen from Davidson, who might have problems with dementia.
The fire started late Tuesday afternoon. Neighbors say it appears the fire started on the porch next to a dryer.
Officials say the smoke and flames were so overpowering when firefighters arrived that is unlikely anyone inside could have survived.
Firefighters searched the interior of the home multiple times for any potential victims, but found nothing.
A fire marshal who came back to the house Wednesday morning to start investigating the cause found the woman's body on the porch underneath a large pile of debris.
Lt. Dion Burleson with the Davidson Fire Department says firefighters also searched the exterior for victims using a helicopter with infra-red technology and a K-9.
"None of those efforts were successful in locating the missing victim. The debris that the victim was under was significant due to architectural designs of the porch being on two different levels. The victim was completely buried," Burleson said.
Firefighters still don't know what caused the fire.