Off-Duty Detective Rescues Woman From Fire

Thursday, Apr 24, 2014  |  Updated 7:47 PM EDT
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A Montgomery County woman is alive thanks to the quick-thinking of a stranger. A police detective saw her home on fire, rushed inside, and pulled her out.  Sadly, he was not able to save her husband.  News4's Kristin Wright has more from the Germantown neighborhood where it happened.

Kristin Wright

A Montgomery County woman is alive thanks to the quick-thinking of a stranger. A police detective saw her home on fire, rushed inside, and pulled her out. Sadly, he was not able to save her husband. News4's Kristin Wright has more from the Germantown neighborhood where it happened.

Photos and Videos

One Dead in Germantown House Fire

Montgomery County fire officials are still working to determine what started a fire that claimed the life of a Germantown, Md., man Thursday morning.
More Photos and Videos

Montgomery County fire officials are still working to determine what started a fire that claimed the life of a Germantown, Md., man Thursday morning.

Fire crews were called to the home in the 1300 block of Jamieson Place just after 7:30 a.m.

Two Montgomery County police officers who were in the area at the time -- one retired, the other a current child abuse detective -- were able to rescue the man's wife.

"It's always in you, that instinct to want to save someone," detective Mario Mastrangelo said. "She didn't want to leave the home, but I told her we had to get out of the house. There was so much smoke, you could feel the heat.

Mastrangelo carried her out, then went back inside to save her husband.

"The flames were about two to three feet high... it was like a wall of flame everywhere," Mastrangelo said. 

The flames were too intense to save the 65-year-old victim. He was found dead on the home's second floor.

"It hurts. I wish I could have gotten both [of them]," Mastrangelo said.

The fire burned away the majority of the home's roof, leaving only the frame behind. From Chopper 4, firefighters could be seen walking through what was left of the home's second floor. 

While the cause of the fire is under investigation, officials believe it may have started on the home's second floor, possibly in a bedroom.

The woman who was rescued said she heard smoke detectors before she was carried out by Mastrangelo.

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