HOUSTON -

An 89-year-old woman died after a house fire in northeast Houston Thursday.

The fire broke out around 3 a.m. at a home in the 3000 block of Briarwick Lane and Bentley Street. Neighbors saw the fire and called 911, and then went to work in an attempt to save their friend, Beverly Whitley.

Sheila Robbins lived in the neighborhood for years. 

"We tried. We tried everything. With the burglar bars on the windows, there was no way to get in. No way at all," she said.

Robbins was devastated after their rescue efforts failed.

When firefighters arrived, they managed to get into the roof and found Whitley in a bedroom. She was not breathing and was rushed to the hospital in extremely critical condition. She died a few hours later.

Beverly Whitley

Once the fire was out, officials determined it started in the garage. The cause is not yet known.

The home did not have smoke detectors.

Family members said Whitley is the widow of a firefighter. She lived in the home with a small dog. The dog also did not survive.

Whitley's son-in-law was her next-door neighbor on the left and her grandchildren lived in a house to her right.

Whitley had four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.