Hero cops pull trapped worker out of in­ferno in Trainer home

Daily Times (Primos, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Pete Ban­nan pban­nan@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com

TRAINER >> Two po­lice of­fi­cers pulled a man from the base­ment of a house that was en­gulfed by fire Thurs­day morn­ing.

‘You never know when it is go­ing to be your day,” the thank­ful 47-year-old man told the heroic of­fi­cers.

Mar­cus Hook Trainer Fire Chief Al­fonse Brooks said the alarm was sounded shortly about 8:20 a.m. for a build­ing fire with en­trap­ment in the 900 block of Chest­nut Street. Ac­cord­ing to pre­lim­i­nary in­for­ma­tion pro­vided to po­lice, two men were work­ing to re­fur­bish the va­cant Cape Cod-style prop­erty when a gen­er­a­tor they were us­ing to pump water from the base­ment ap­par­ently caught fire, trap­ping one of the men in­side.

Of­fi­cer Ja­son Don­nelly was on a traf­fic stop at Ninth and Booth streets when he heard the call. His part­ner, Of­fi­cer Stephen DiBello was pa­trolling the area of Town­ship Line Road.

Don­nelly ar­rived first at the scene of the fire, with DiBello less than a minute be­hind. Don­nelly re­called that a gen­er­a­tor po­si­tioned at a side door was on fire, as was most of the door­way.

Among the by­standers was a man who fran­ti­cally told the of­fi­cers that his co­worker was in the base­ment of the house.

“I yelled in­side. I could hear some­body yelling, “I’m trapped in the base­ment,’” Don­nelly said.

The of­fi­cers re­called run­ning to the side of the house, find­ing a win­dow low to the ground, but the win­dow was boarded.

“I tried kick­ing it out, but the board was screwed in,” Don­nelly said.

The of­fi­cers then ran to­ward a sec­ond win­dow at the back of the house. Along the way, Don­nelly grabbed a rock from the ground, think­ing he could use it to break the win­dow pane.

“That didn’t help be­cause the win­dow was cov­ered by a grate,” Don­nelly said. “I ripped the grate off, and the whole win­dow came with it.”

Not­ing there was a 1012 foot drop be­tween the win­dow and the base­ment floor, DiBello said the man couldn’t lift him­self up. He and Don­nelly worked to­gether to pull the man out.

“I grabbed his hand and pulled him up,” Don­nelly said. “Then we both yanked him through the win­dow.”

DiBello said the man was out of the burn­ing house in two to three min­utes.

The res­cued man was un­in­jured and checked by paramedics at the scene.

“He was very scared, very thank­ful,” Don­nelly said.

The of­fi­cers then turned their fo­cus on as­sist­ing fire­fight­ers.

Ac­cord­ing to Brooks, the bulk of the fire was lo­cated by the door­way on the left side of the home where a gen­er­a­tor was run­ning. Fire­fight­ers used hose lines from the ex­te­rior as the safety of the build­ing was in doubt. Brooks es­ti­mated the fire was un­der con­trol in about 20 min­utes.

The burned-up gen­er­a­tor could be seen in­side the front door of the home.

The of­fi­cial cause of the fire is un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the fire mar­shal.

Mar­cus Hook Trainer was as­sisted by Ch­ester, Aston, Lower Chich­ester, Booth­wyn, Re­liance Hook and Lad­der, Ed­dy­s­tone, Gar­den City, Park­side and Clay­mont (Delaware) fire de­part­ments, as well as Crozer-Ch­ester EMS.


Flames roar through house in Trainer Thurs­day morn­ing. A po­lice of­fi­cer res­cued one per­son who was trapped in­side the home.

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