Firefighters battle 2-alarm blaze in Cumru

Woman rushed to hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation

Posted: 3:55 PM EST Jan 31, 2014   Updated: 7:04 PM EST Jan 31, 2014

An elderly woman was rushed to the hospital after fierce flames destroyed her home in Berks County.

Firefighters got the call around 3:45 p.m. Friday to respond to the fire in the 100 block of Gerald Avenue in Cumru Township.

"It was like an inferno, something out of a movie. Flames were all over the place," said Tony Urdaz, who lives across the street.

The fire quickly went to two alarms as extra manpower was summoned to the scene to fight the intense flames and smoke coming from the 1-1/2 story brick home.

The homeowner, identified by neighbors as Mary Martin, was inside at the time.

"I saw her holding onto the side door while the house was ablaze, so without thought I just ran over there to get her," said Robert Roman, who helped bring Martin to safety.

Witnesses said they could see Martin's hair on fire. Initial reports indicated she suffered smoke inhalation. She was treated by EMS on scene, then taken to the hospital.

All neighbors could do was watch in horror as years of memories went up in flames.

"Oh my gosh, the whole home was engulfed in flames all the windows were full of fire everywhere," said Tonie Roman, who walked outside her parents home to find the fire.

Fire crews fought to knock down the fire as smoke billowed over the house, but even their quick response wasn't enough to save it. According to officials, the home was a total loss.

A cause has not been determined, but it did not appear to be suspicious, said fire officials.

Martin's condition was unknown.