By Andrew Eiser
The Philadelphia Daily News
KENSINGTON, Pa. — A Kensington man died after a fire broke out in his two-story home, and another man was rescued thanks to a neighbor's bravery.
Jose Carmona, 30, pulled the survivor from the front hallway of his burning home at 3460 Joyce St. The 78-year-old victim was in critical condition at Temple University Hospital with severe burns and smoke inhalation.
"My cousin wanted me to go to the store, and then I noticed the smoke coming out of the house, so I yelled back and told him to call 9-1-1," Carmona said.
When another neighbor announced that someone was still in the house, Carmona decided to investigate.
"When I went around to the doorway, I saw one of the guys and it looked like he was in the middle, trying to run out the front door, and collapsed at the door - literally," he said.
After he pulled the man outside, Carmona said, neighbors attended to the victim with blankets and helped carry him across the street to wait for an ambulance.
"I knew I was relatively safe were I was at," he said.
"The dangerous part was the stuff that was melting afterward," he added, referring to the door and window openings that he said began to crumble not long after he removed the man.
The one-alarm fire was reported at 9:51 a.m. and was under control by 10:16 a.m., according to Executive Fire Chief Richard Davison.
Roxanne Bell, 59, a resident of the block for 10 years, said four unrelated people were living in the house. She noticed the flames after returning from taking her grandson to school.
"I couldn't even get up the block," she said. "I said to them, 'I live on this block, I got to see if it's my home.' "
Joseph Sandford, 43, a resident of the house, said he was mailing a letter when the fire broke out. He said he was in the process of getting a job, and now must find a new home.
"I'm so devastated, it hasn't even hit me yet," he said. "I really don't know how to react to it. I'm just salvaging whatever I can."
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