WASHINGTON BOROUGH, N.J. - All that's left of a Warren County, New Jersey home is a black charred outline. Saturday afternoon the Washington Borough house went up in flames.
"In the front there was fire, and in the back there was fire," explained 13-year-old neighbor Emily Rock. "But in the middle it was all just black smoke coming from the top of it."
"Just a lot of smoke," said Francine Delgado. "A lot of smoke, it's all black."
Fire officials say the blaze broke out around 11:45 a.m. Saturday. Neighbors say all they could do was watch helplessly as the inferno took over the house.
A Washington Township police officer was the first on scene, but the flames were too big for him to get inside. He had to be treated for smoke inhalation, but managed to save Moose, the family cat, before he was pushed out. Crews had no idea anybody was home.
"When they called the guy to see if anyone was in there he said that his mother was in there," added Rock.
Ron Stevens lives in the house with his 93-year-old mother Elizabeth. Family members tell us she suffers from dementia.
Neighbors say six different fire departments battled the fast moving flames before they could get inside. After nearly an hour and a half, they finally located Elizabeth and pulled her out of her second story bedroom.
At the time she was badly burned, but miraculously, she was still alive.
"They brought her down to the ambulance, and then they drove right to the park and flew her," Rock said.
She was airlifted to St. Barnabas Burn Center.
"She definitely had an angel by her," Delgado added." "She definitely had an angel by her."
Family members stopped by the home Sunday to look at the devastation. Sadly, they tell us the kindhearted woman didn't pull through. She passed away early Sunday morning.
"It's horrible," Delgado said. "It's scary because you never know, like everything is fine one second and suddenly things look like this."
What sparked the blaze is still under investigation, but Ron lost everything.
The Washington Borough Fire Department is collecting donations so he can move past this tragedy.
You can drop things off at the Borough Hall at 100 Belvidere Avenue, Washington, NJ 07882 Monday night between 6 and 7p.m. Here's a list of what Ron needs:
- A coat or jacket for fall or winter (size medium)
- Shirts (size medium)
-Shoes and sneakers (size 9)
For more information, log onto the Washington Borough website.
Allentown, PA 18102