ASTON, Pa. (WPVI) --Flames attacked a house Friday morning in Aston, Delaware County.
Firefighters rescued a woman, and another firefighter suffered injuries.
The fire started around 4:30 on the 100 block of Shubrook Lane.
With emotion and gratitude, a relative of the fire victims thanked neighbors for their heroic contributions in the pre-dawn hours.
"The flames, Vernon, were at 40 feet in the air. The whole half of the house was involved," said neighbor Ed Young.
"It was practically raining embers. It was like snowing embers," said neighbor John Young.
With the inferno at its peak, the Youngs helped police vault a backyard fence, and provided a ladder so Officer William Mack could climb through a window to rescue Mary Dugan, a woman in her 50s. Officer Mack and his patrol partner, Collen Joyce, are being hailed as lifesavers.
"I found her in the front of the bedroom sitting down on the floor, and a room full of smoke," said Officer Mack.
The house next door sustained major damage as well, but no injuries.
Like Dugan, three other residents of the gutted house, owned by Bob Tripler, remain hospitalized with smoke inhalation, including his wife and son. They had scrambled to safety on their own.
"They all made it out and they're fine. Happened at 4:24 a.m. this morning. We still don't know the origin," said the victim's sister Joanne Pinnock.
Officer Mack has been a policeman for only three years. He is bashful in the face of the glory that is being showered upon him..
"She was alive in there. I wasn't going to let her die. She was crying for help, and that's why I signed up for this job," said Mack.