LANCASTER, Pa. - A community came together for a candle light vigil in Lancaster County after a fire claimed the lives of a woman and her six-year-old niece.
The four-alarmer broke out just before 4:30 Monday morning. When all was said and done, three firefighters were injured, one critically. And a family was left mourning two lives lost.
The makeshift memorial on the steps of a burnt out home was for the woman who lived there, Pauline Stone and her niece.
Neighbors said Pauline was the loud neighbor everyone loved, who yelled at cars going too fast down the one way street.
She was also the woman yelling out the window, "I can't breathe."
Neighbors near Madison Street in Lancaster said it was too much to hear the screams coming from the house on fire in the 200 block.
"It's a sad thing," said Migdalia Malave, "I'm sitting here crying and it wasn't even my child, but to hear that and to know that they were screaming in there. It's sad."
Malave saw the fire early Monday morning.
"Out of all the windows there was just black smoke coming out," said Malave, "And then you finally see the flames coming out of it where like there was a fireman there."
Three firefighters were injured trying to get to the trapped woman and child in the front bedroom on the second floor.
"There was a fireman there. He went through the roof right there fell on the floor, and another fireman he was on fire, his whole suit, everything," said Malave.
The chief of the Lancaster Fire Department said one firefighter was flown to the hospital for burns. Two others were treated and released.
"They're not going to make it. If that fireman that's coming out like that," said Malave.
Stone and her niece, 6-year-old Lelany Roman, didn't make it. And neighbors remembered them hours later at a candlelight vigil on the steps they never reached.
But two family members did make it out, Pauline's brother and nephew.
"They were just crying, 'Get her out. Get her out,'" said Malave.
And they weren't alone in their desperation, wanting to help Pauline and Lelany.
"The little kids that lived here and they're crying," said Malave, "And they're saying, 'Get her out,' calling her name. It's just like oh my God," said Malave.
Pauline's other brother, the one who wasn't home at the time, could hardly speak when he lit a candle in honor of his sister and niece Monday night.
He did say the injured firefighters were heroes for trying to save his family.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Firefighters told Pauline's brother, the second floor collapsed and they found Pauline hugging Lelany with Lelany's head in her aunt's chest.
Allentown, PA 18102
- Lehigh Valley 69 News