Neighbors react to double fatal house fire in York County

SHREWSBURY TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY, Pa. -- Two women are dead and another hospitalized in critical condition after an early morning house fire in Shrewsbury Township.

The fire broke out around 1:40 Friday morning, at a home on Foundry Road near the area of Mt. Airy Road and Covington Drive.

Many neighbors were shocked and saddened by the fire which put one woman who lives in the house in the hospital, and left her two house guests dead.

The York County Coroner's office identified those two women as 47-year-old Brenda Neal of Hampstead, Maryland, and 58-year-old Melody Waltermeyer of Shrewsbury Township.

Cell phone video captured by neighbors shows the intensity of the flames that crews were fighting.

Shrewsbury Volunteer Fire Chief Tony Myers said "you knew it was bad coming in. You could see the glow coming down the street. There was heavy fire coming out the windows of one half of the first floor of the house."

It was a scene that many neighbors could only describe as surreal.

Neighbor Ed Yingling said "you hear about fires on the news, but it doesn't hit close to home. You see something that could threaten your own house, and you immediately think about, what you're going to do, how you're going to get out, what you need to get."

Chief Myers said all three women who were home at the time made it outside and escaped the flames, but that two of them went back inside.

"It's said that they went in after an animal. We all love our pets, but once you're out of the house, stay out of the house. If they would have done that, we wouldn't have a double fatality right now," Myers said.

Having flames is such a heavily-wooded area had some neighbors concerned for their own safety as well.

"They were shooting high enough to get to the trees. There's like a wood line back there. They were shooting high enough that there was a genuine fear that the woods would catch fire, and potentially the two houses back here," Yingling said.

It's the loss of two lives in the the fire that hits home the hardest.

"Having two small children here myself, my girlfriend and I have two small kids, a five-year-old and a seven-month-old, so it definitely puts you on edge," Yingling said.

It's why the Shrewsbury fire chief offers a reminder.

"Just like everyone's taught, get out of the house. Call 911, and don't ever go back in. It's not worth your life," Myers said

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The woman who survived the fire was taken to Lehigh Valley Regional Burn Center for treatment of burns to her face.