CHARLOTTE, N.C. — An elderly woman is in the hospital recovering from burns she suffered after a house in north Charlotte went up in flames Thursday evening.
The intense fire broke out around 7 p.m., gutting the home on White Aspen Place.
Most of the 2-story home’s roof is gone, and the walls were burned down. Nearly everything inside was charred.
A neighbor shared dramatic cell phone video with Channel 9 which showed people running to help 97-year-old Carmen Torres and carry her away from the burning house as smoke billowed into the sky.
That neighbor said she was inside her car and could feel the heat from the massive fire.
(WATCH BELOW: Cell phone video of massive house fire)
In the video, you can sense the panic as neighbors try to figure out how to help. Moments later, you see a group of people running to carry Torres away from the burning home.
She was taken to the hospital, where she was recovering Friday.
Channel 9 reporter Anthony Kustura spoke with one of the rescuers who helped pull the woman to safety. Robert Chavis immediately noticed smoke billowing out from the garage and when he checked it out, he said his instincts kicked in.
“I saw one of my neighbors motioning for someone to come on, like they were on the porch and by the time I got to the front of the house, four or five of us probably just grabbed her and pulled her over here to the hill, to safety,” said Chavis.
He said that within minutes, the fire consumed not only the home, but the surrounding houses and even a vehicle out front.
“You always say what you would do or could do, but you never know what you can do until you’re put in that situation,” said Chavis.
A dog was also rescued from inside the home. In total, fire officials said three adults and two children were left without a home, and that the American Red Cross was helping the family.
"Bring a stretcher toward the scene," a firefighter can be heard saying in an emergency radio transmission to dispatchers. “Female got burns on her hands and arms. That's all I can see right now. I don't know how much exposure she got from the smoke."
It took nearly three dozen firefighters about 20 minutes to put out the flames, and crews stayed at the property overnight to monitor hot spots.
Investigators determined the fire, which caused $240,000 in damage, was caused by an electrical malfunction and was accidental.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family. You can donate here.
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