A 69-year-old German woman died after an explosion and fire ripped through her Orihuela Costa home this Friday morning (June 12).

Flames quickly spread across her property fuelled by the massive volume of items piled up inside.

Authorities said that she suffered from Diogenes Syndrome, which affects older people and presents itself in excessive hoarding and dirty homes.

The disease is also known as ‘senile squalor syndrome’. It is characterised by a refusal of help and social alienation, and is believed to be brought on by stress.

The explosion happened at 8.40am on Calle Amadeo Vives in Villamartin, with Orihuela local police officers first on the scene.

They spotted the occupant trapped inside her house, but she was unable to be revived.

A 38-year-old Torrevieja firefighter was taken to hospital to get treatment for smoke inhalation.

Investigations have started over what caused the explosion, which also saw the death of the woman´s pet dog.

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