HOUSTON -

A woman and her dog died Tuesday after her home caught fire in southeast Houston.

The fire was started at the house on Sherwood and Porter at around 11:30 p.m. on Monday.

Fire crews said massive amounts of clutter blocked the entrances and exits to the home, making it extremely difficult to get to the woman. After several attempts, firefighters had to use special equipment to pull the woman out of her bathroom.

"Those firefighters cut the bottom part of the window out, allowing the firefighters on the inside to lift the lady out," said Jay Evans with the Houston Fire Department.

The woman was rushed to the hospital, where she died.

"I know she lives there alone," neighbor Gail McAdams said. "I was praying she got out."

Houston Police said her power was shut off.

Arson investigators said the fire was suspicious and that foul play may be involved.

Neighbors said the woman has lived in the neighborhood for more than 30 years. They said she is known as "Ms. Cotton."