Hero cops pull trapped worker out of inferno in Trainer home
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.