Abby Vesoulis

Elderly Woman, Son Killed in Temple Hills House Fire: Sources

One neighbor used his own fire extinguisher to put out some of the flames

An elderly woman and her son have died after a house fire in Temple Hills, Maryland, fire officials say.

Neighbors say they rushed to help a woman in her 80s and her son, who they believe is in his 60s, but the flames and smoke were too intense. The woman used a wheelchair, neighbors said. 

"All I heard was, 'Help, help! Please help me!'" neighbor Brandon Clay said. 

The fire broke out on the 5200 block of Lorraine Drive. Smoke could be seen from miles away. 

Clay tried the front door, then the side door, then the back door, but the heat was too intense. 

"Hottest temperatures I've ever felt in my life, and I work on cars for a living," he said. At one point, he used his own fire extinguisher to put out some of the flames. 

At least one other neighbor also ran to help.

A woman called 911 about 12:30 p.m. and 35 firefighters responded. They pulled the woman and man out of the house and rushed them to a hospital.

Officials say both victims died a short time later. Their names have not been released. 

Two firefighters were taken to a burn unit with burns to their ears. They are expected to be OK. 

Clay, one of the neighbors who tried to help, cried as he spoke about what happened.

"I wish I could have done more," he said. 

A crew is working to determine what caused the blaze and whether the home has a working smoke detector. 

Firefighters will return to the neighborhood Thursday morning to make sure residents in the area have working smoke alarms. 

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