HAMMOND — A 62-year-old woman died Saturday after firefighters rescued her and two others from a fire that is being investigated as a possible arson, officials said.

Brenda Poole, 62, of 19 Doty St., was among the three people rescued from the fire about 2:30 a.m. Saturday at her home, officials said.

Hammond firefighters arrived to find the front porch area of the single-family home engulfed, Fire Chief Jeff Smith said.

A 33-year-old man and a 36-year-old woman were rescued from the second story with a ladder, he said.* 

The man is Poole's son and the woman, of Chicago, was visiting the home, Hammond police spokesman Lt. Steve Kellogg said.

The Chicago woman was taken to a local hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation and burns to her hands, he said. The man refused further medical treatment, Smith said.

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Poole was found in the home and taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center in Chicago, where she was pronounced dead at 8:53 a.m. Saturday, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office. The cause and manner of death are pending.

The Hammond Police Department is investigating the case as a possible arson, Kellogg said.

Check back at nwi.com for updates to this story.

* Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct that firefighters used a ladder to rescue two people. The Times regrets the error.

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