A 69-year-old woman was killed and another person hospitalized after flames broke out at a home in Sydney Mines, N.S. Monday evening.

Fire crews responded to the blaze on Pitt Street around 9 p.m.

“I was laying down watching television right above here and I heard all the sirens and police cars were coming,” said neighbour Douglas MacMillan. “I looked out the window and all kinds of smoke was coming out of the house.”

Firefighters had to fight through flames and thick smoke to rescue a man trapped on the roof.

“When we arrived the house was pretty well engulfed in flames,” said Deputy Fire Chief John MacPherson. “We had a gentleman on the roof. We sent one team of firefighters up to take him off the roof. Then we sent another team inside. They quickly discovered the lady’s body in the kitchen of the house.”

The man remains in hospital with serious injuries.

Fire crews said the flames spread quickly, aided by stacks of large papers and years’ worth of memorabilia inside the home.

“There was a lot of paper in boxes, stuff that was stored in there,” said MacPherson. “There was a big fuel load. It made the fire quite intense starting off.”

Neighbours said the man and woman lived in the house together and were brother and sister.

MacMillan described the woman as “private” and said she rarely left her home, except to attend church. She is also believed to have had health issues.

“Very quiet person, yes. Very religious,” said MacMillan. “The both of them were very religious. She had a taxi pulling up there whenever she was going to church. She was always going to church.”

Her name has not been released.

The fire remains under investigation. There is no word on a cause at this time

With files from CTV Atlantic's Ryan MacDonald