Pa. fire chief uses ladder to rescue man from fire

The Daily Review

MILDRED, Pa. — A male individual was rescued Friday afternoon from a porch roof after a fire broke out in a nine-unit apartment building in Mildred, Sullivan County, the Mildred fire chief said.

Mildred Fire Chief Josh Fitzgerald said he used a 20-foot ladder to rescue the male from the roof of a wraparound porch at the Ber-Mil Apartments on state Route 487.

The male was flown by emergency medical helicopter to the burn unit at Lehigh Valley Medical Center in Allentown, Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald said the male had some burns, adding that he did not know how extensive they were.

He also had some cuts, which he might have sustained in exiting from a second-story window to get onto the porch's roof, which is 10 to 12 feet off the ground, Fitzgerald said.

The injured male was a young person, Fitzgerald said. "I don't think he was 20 years old yet," he said.

Oddly, the male was the only individual home in the apartment building when the fire broke out, Fitzgerald said, adding that seven of the nine apartments are currently rented.

"I believe the fire started in the apartment that he was in," which is on the second floor of the 3 1/2-story structure, Fitzgerald said. "I believe it started in the kitchen area of the apartment."

Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the fire, he said.

The apartment that the male was in was gutted by the fire, and there was also fire damage to a hallway on the second floor, he said.

But there was little additional fire damage beyond that, because firefighters did a good job of containing the fire, he said.

There was also water damage to the first and second floors and a small amount of water damage to the third floor, he said.

In addition, there was smoke damage to all three floors, he said.

All of the people living in the Ber-Mil Apartments are temporarily homeless, he said.

The Red Cross was called in to assist the victims of the fire, he said

The fire chief said he believes that all of the residents of the apartment building have now found a place to stay, which could be with friends or relatives, or some other location.

The fire was reported by a passerby, who went to the Mildred Volunteer Fire Company's station, which is close to the apartment building, to report it, Fitzgerald said.

Fire trucks began arriving on scene within about five minutes after the fire was reported, he said.

No firefighters were injured, he said.

The Ber-Mil Apartments are owned by Richard and Amy Sweigart of Laporte, he said. The Sweigarts have insurance on the building, he said.

In addition to the Mildred fire company, there were firefighters on scene from the Dushore, Laporte, Muncy Valley, Eagles Mere, New Albany, Loyalsock and Montoursville fire companies.

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