Grandmother of 23 dies in Sydney home fire

Tom Rabe
'She loves us all equally, no favourites, that's how we'll remember her,' said the woman's grandson

A grandmother of 23 has died and her husband has suffered smoke inhalation following a house fire in Sydney's eastern suburbs.

One of the couple's adult grandsons ran to the burning home on Thursday morning to find his distraught grandfather outside.

Fire crews arrived at the Waverley home on Carrington Road about 6.30am to discover the semi-detached residence well-alight, with the fire also spreading to the neighbouring home.

Salma Yazigi was found dead inside while her husband was taken to Prince of Wales Hospital suffering smoke inhalation.

Ms Yazigi's grandson, Anthony Mitry, who lives two doors down on the same street, was woken by sirens and raced to the burning home.

"I raced down and saw my grandfather hysterical so I tried to console him and tried to understand what was going on and was greeted with bad news," Mr Mitry told reporters.

He described his grandmother - who had seven children - as "a wonderful woman (with) a heart of gold."

She was "quite frail" and was "in a better place now," Mr Mitry added.

"She loves us all equally, no favourites, that's how we'll remember her.

"Twenty-three grandkids, you've got to have a pretty big heart to love each and every one of them, and she did."

Mr Mitry said his grandfather was being consoled by family members.

"He's not coping very well at all, they took him straight to hospital, all the family are gathered around him."

The distraught grandfather believes the fire may have started after his wife tried to turn on a heater in the lounge room, his grandson said.

"Whether she collapsed or not, we don't know, her health wasn't the best."

The couple's next-door neighbour was woken by an early-morning dog walker banging on her door telling her to get out.

"What a day, what a day," she told AAP.

The blaze burnt through the roof of the couple's home and spread to the roof of the neighbouring property, a Fire and Rescue NSW spokesman told AAP.

The busy road was shut down with numerous police cars and six fire crews at the scene.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the blaze.