FAIRFIELD — An automatic fire alarm, triggered by a burning saucepan on the stove of a Silver Spring Road house Sunday morning, alerted local officials to a home filled with cats and a malnourished 86-year-old woman.

When firefighters got to the house, they said the resident opened the door and asked what they wanted as smoke billowed out over her head.

Inside the home were cats and kittens — some dead — and a strong urine odor. There was very little food in the refrigerator, and it was estimated the 86-year-old woman weighed about 80 pounds. The bathtubs were filled with cat feces and the home was deemed a health risk.

Animal Control officers took seven cats and five kittens from the house, but they think there are 20 to 30 more still in the house. They also removed four dead kittens. They will continue to try and remove the remaining cats.

The resident was brought to St. Vincent’s Medical Center.

Police spoke with the woman’s sister-in-law, who is her power of attorney. The sister-in-law told police she had groceries delivered to the house every two weeks.

greilly@ctpost.com; @GreillyPost