A woman was killed Saturday afternoon in southeast Atlanta as a demolition team tore down a house.

Witnesses said the woman was inside the home when the building began crumbling around her.

Residents in the area told Channel 2’s Tony Thomas the demolition crew began working from the back toward the front.

Neighbors said they had wanted the house torn down for years. Then they said they heard the cry for help.

Through the afternoon, Atlanta firefighters combed through the debris, making sure there is no one else trapped underneath the rubble. They would find no one else.

Neighbors told Thomas about an hour into the demolition workers heard a cry.

Robert Elliott was the first to arrive at the demolished house. “Me and some other people cleared right here,” Elliot said. “I was watching the backhoe turn and as he turned I heard a woman moan.”

Witness Tony Daniels said, “Second truck, they started filling that up, and that’s when we heard ‘ahhh,’ you know like that.”

Witnesses told Thomas the woman was still alive, but died before firefighters could pull her out of the rubble.

Channel 2 Actions News’ camera spotted the demolition team sitting nearby talking with Atlanta homicide detectives and firefighters.

“All the reports that we are receiving is that the building was checked out by the contractors prior to the demolition starting,” Battalion Chief Todd Edwards with the Atlanta Fire Department said.

According to police, no one knows when the woman entered the building or even who she might be.

Residents along Daniel Street told Thomas homeless people many times slip into the house at night to sleep.

“So she must have been in a state where she couldn’t perceive the world around her, she had ample time to say ‘hey’ and get out,” Elliot said.

The medical examiner’s office is trying to identify the woman.

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