UPDATE: Police officers injured in Northside house fire

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Four people were injured, including three police officers, at an overnight house fire.

Investigators are on the scene in the 1400 block of Edgehill Road trying to determine why a fire started on the second floor of the home.

Crews had to go into the house and rescue an elderly woman, that they heard screaming for help just after 12:30 a.m. Thursday morning.

It took about 40 minutes to put the fire out. A neighbor actually called in the fire and told emergency crews that someone was trapped inside the house.

We talked with the wife of the couple that tried to rescue their neighbor, who they tell us is Mary Jasper.

Glenda Nelson and her husband went through quite a night, after calling emergency crews because their elderly neighbor's home, was on fire. "You don't want anyone at that age, who lives alone, to go out like that."

So Glenda and her husband jumped into action. Her husband kicked in this front door. "When went in, we couldn't get too far. But, he attempted to go upstairs. He called her name and she didn't respond. He said he got to the top of the stairs but there was too much smoke he couldn't see anything," says Glenda.

But moments later, fire and police crews arrived at the burning home.

"It took them two or three minutes. They got her and brought her out and she was unresponsive at that time," adds Glenda.

Eventually, Mary Jasper started responding and she was taken to VCU Medical Center.

Three police officers were also injured because of the fire. One was taken to the hospital as well. That officer, along with Mary, are both expected to be okay.

It's all because of this Cadillac that Glenda and her husband knew their neighbor was in trouble.

"After a certain time, if that Cadillac is parked here, we know she is there and normally she doesn't come back out, " says Glenda.

This morning, hours after the fire, neighbors were praising the Nelson's efforts.

"I consider him a hero because he stuck his neck out and tried to save her," says neighbor Tracey White.

The Nelson's home did have some damage, too. But that their worries were elsewhere now that the neighbor they helped in a time of need, is in the hospital.

"We all prayed last night. I'm going to try to get by there today to check on her to make sure she's okay," adds Glenda.

Fire investigators are not sure if there were any working smoke detectors in Mary's home. Glenda tells us she did not hear any smoke detectors going off last night when she and her husband went into Mary's home to try to save her.

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