Woman, teen killed in Reading, Berks County rowhome fire

READING, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- A woman and a teen girl were killed early Sunday morning in a rowhome fire in Berks County, according to the fire marshal.

Firefighters were called to the 1200 block of Chestnut Street in Reading at about midnight.

"Bursting flames and in the front, you see the whole stairwell where you see inside the door. You see the whole stairwell on fire," said Misael Rodriguez, who lives nearby.

The fire department said two people were trapped inside and by the time crews got to them, it was too late.

Rodriguez said he tried to save one woman.

"We were trying to pull her out," he said.

As crews battled the fire, the department upgraded it to a second alarm, calling in backup. It took firefighters about 45 minutes to put out the flames.

Some neighbors say they have smoke damage to their houses, but they feel fortunate the fire didn't spread past the one home.

"There was no way you could have walked up the stairs. It was all in flames. There was no possible way to go inside the house," Rodriguez said.

A third person inside the home was able to escape safely, the fire marshal said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.
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