By Beth Germano

MALDEN (CBS) – Two police officers ran into a burning home in Malden to get an elderly woman out safely. That woman said the entire emergency unfolded in seconds.

“The entire back of the balcony blew up in giant flames,” said neighbor Ryan Tsang. “I said I got to do something.”

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That’s when 14-year-old Ryan Tsang sprang into action, seeing the raging fire next door, his own home close to the flames. He started banging on neighbors’ doors.

Flames can be seen coming through a house on Ashland Street in Malden (WBZ-TV)

The two-story home on Ashland Street was engulfed in flames and heavy smoke, much of it pouring out of the attic. Margaret Hammersley, 86, was close to it on the second floor.

“All I know is my daughter came up, said ‘Ma get out there’s a fire,’ and next thing I knew the police officer there taking me out,” Hammersley said.

A woman she calls a hero, one of two Malden officers who ran into the burning home to escort her out.

“I said wait a minute I have got to grab my pocketbook,” Hammersley said. “She said ‘we got to go, we got to go,’ I said ‘not until I get my pocketbook.’”

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She made it to the sidewalk as firefighters attacked the burning attic. Her panicked son got the call she was inside.

Smoke billows out of a home on Ashland Street in Malden (WBZ-TV)

“Your life gets turned upside down with a phone call,” said Daniel Hammersely.

For firefighters, the windy conditions were not the only challenge.

“This area of the city of Malden, the houses are tightly compacted, there’s not a lot of room between them,” said Malden Fire Deputy Chief Bill Sullivan. “We were able to get hose lines in between the two buildings and cut off any extension of fire.”

It’s their firefighting battle and the actions of two officers these fire victims won’t soon forget.

“I appreciate everything she did for me,” Hammersley said.

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Many of the city’s police officers were in Yarmouth attending the funeral services for Officer Sean Gannon. But the two officers who spotted the fire, one who is a rookie, were on routine patrol and in the right place at the right time.

Beth Germano