Two thought trapped in Atlanta house fire found safe

Assistant Atlanta fire Chief Chris Wessels said the blaze was reported at 6:39 a.m. at the home on Whitefoord Avenue, and arriving crews found "heavy fire involvement."

"Conditions were pretty intense on arrival," Wessels said.

A neighbor helped one woman get out of the house before fire crews arrived, Wessel said, but firefighters trying to locate two people reported still inside the home had to back out because of deteriorating conditions.

Those two residents later walked up to the house unharmed, a fire department spokesman said.

Michael Hosp lives next door to the house, which neighbors said was nearly 100 years old.

"I heard windows popping out, and saw smoke coming out of the house," Hosp said. He said he ran next door and began banging on windows, trying to awaken his neighbors.

Hosp said he helped one woman climb out a window. The woman was "hysterical," he said, but appeared to be okay.

Neighbor Edward Heath, a retired Atlanta firefighter, said the two people initially reported missing in the blaze were a retired woman and her adult daughter.

Heath, who has lived in the neighborhood south of the MARTA east line in the DeKalb County portion of Atlanta,  said the younger woman had been out Thursday night celebrating her 31st birthday.

He said she and her mother had lived in the house for more than 20 years.

Staff photographer John Spink contributed to this article.

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