Elderly Couple Killed After Flames Tear Through Mt. Rainier Home

An elderly couple was killed after flames engulfed their home in Mt. Rainier, Maryland, Thursday morning. 

An off-duty firefighter driving through the area noticed the flames at the home on the 3300 block of Eastern Avenue about 6 a.m. 

Hoarding conditions made entry into the home tough for firefighters, officials say.

Firefighters say it appears the couple tried to escape the fire, but they weren't able to get out in time. Both were found in the bedroom of the home. 

"The belongings that they've amassed over the years make it challenging for them to get out," said Dennis Wood, deputy chief for the Prince George's County Fire Department.

"It was kind of traumatizing," said Bjorn Fingal, who lives next door to the home. He said he has known the couple for decades.

"Beautiful people, I mean, wonderful souls. It doesn't get any better than them, that's why it's such a big deal to me," Fingal said.

"They had hearts of gold. They were very very caring very kind neighbors," said another neighbor who didn't want to be identified.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

Firefighters passed out smoke detectors to neighbors to try to prevent similar fires from happening.

"I teared up thinking that it could've been my whole family. I could've woke up too late or something. Or not woke up at all," Fingal said.

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