Husband, wife killed in New Year's Eve fire

December 31, 2009 3:42:36 PM PST
A devastating early morning house fire killed two people in Westchester County.The fire took place at a duplex just off of Route 22 in North Castle.

"There was screaming, yelling, someone banging on doors," Rachel Ehrentreu recalled.

"Within a matter of seconds, it engulfed the house," neighbor Harv Lotko said.

Neighbors say they'll remember this fire for the rest of their lives.

They watched a husband run into the blaze, willing to risk his life to save his wife.

"He was down on the first floor. He went back in, but never came out," Lotko said.

The fire started around three in the morning.

No word why.

Neighbors say the young couple lived with an extended family on the back end of this duplex on Nethermont Avenue in North Castle.

Neighbor John Fano says he can't get the chilling screams out of their minds.

"I heard 'Get out! Get out!' I jump out and see two people putting up a ladder and trying to break through the window. It's something I don't ever want to see again," Fano said.

Neighbors tried to break into a window. The husband and wife were only a few feet away, but the flames were too intense. They couldn't get through.

It just so happened that two officers were working on a domestic dispute a couple doors down when they heard breaking glass and saw flames.

They also tried to get in the home with a fire extinguisher, but the heavy smoke kept them out too.

Neighbors say the family is from mexico and they work in construction.

Lotko, who lives next door, says the husband was the first one to help out, even after pulling a 15 hour work day.

"I feel for his family. He would help all the neighbors. I can't believe he's gone," Lotko said.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation.