Delco house fire kills woman, traps firefighters

April 17, 2009 2:26:39 PM PDT
An early morning house fire in Upper Darby, Delaware County, killed a woman who was living in the basement, and at one point trapped two firefighters.

The fire broke out a little before 1:30 Friday morning in a row home in the 7000 block of Guilford Road.

When firefighters arrived they saw flames spitting out of the basement and the two floors above the ground.

Family members who escaped the flames told firefighters that a woman was still inside, trapped in the basement.

Two firefighters went in to find her.

That's when the fire exploded.

The draft from the explosion slammed the doors of the house shut and trapped the firefighters inside.

A rapid response team broke down a door, reached the firefighters and got them out of the house.

But firefighters were not able to get to 26-year-old Flor Guillen until it was too late. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Her daughter, mother and stepfather, who lived in the upper floors, escaped safely.

Family members say Guillen was living in the basement temporarily.

Her brother-in-law Noel Palma said, "she was a very hard worker. She used to work in Bryn Mawr. She went to church."

The two firefighters who were momentarily trapped in the blaze were not injured.

"The fire department," said Upper Darby Deputy Chief James Johnson, " is very lucky tonight we didn't lose two of our own."

A third firefighter is in the hospital, after getting glass in his eye.

He is expected to be treated and released.

Investigators are looking for the cause.

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