VETERAN FIREFIGHTER AND TWO OTHERS SAVE AN ELDERLY MAN FROM A HOME FIRE – Bill Miller, a 60-plus-year-old member of the Loyalsock Township Volunteer Fire Company, and two bystanders rescued an elderly disabled man from his Pennsylvania Avenue home Saturday afternoon moments after it caught fire, investigators said.
The fire at 1250 Pennsylvania Ave. in the township was brought under control around 4:20 p.m.
Miller initially responded to the fire station on Northway Road, but turned away directly to the scene after the county’s 911 center received a call from the owner himself, who reported he couldn’t get out, according to Paul Lester, a deputy township chief.
When a fire dispatcher relayed this information over the radio, Miller headed straight to the scene, Lester said he was told.
The elderly resident, whose name has not been released, was in a back bedroom, Lester said.
Miller and two bystanders, who may have been neighbors, entered the house through the front door and helped the resident out with his walker, Lester said. A light smoke was beginning to fill the house, he added.
The fire originated outside near the southwest end of the structure, where a hot ember rolled up the side of the house, Lester said. Flames and smoke were coming from this area when firefighters arrived on the scene.
A neighbour, who cares for the elderly man, had used a torch to burn weeds on the property earlier in the day, and a hot ember from the torch started the fire, Lester added.
“It was a 100% accidental fire”, he said.
The fire, which was brought under control within 10 minutes, never reached the main (living) part of the house, Lester said. The resident, who did not sustain any injuries, was able to return to his home, he added.
The outcome could have been tragic had it happened in the middle of the night, Lester said.
In addition to Loyalsock, Canton, the firefighters of the city, Montoursville responded present.
The firefighters would like to know the identity of the two passers-by and contact them. They are asked to call the fire station.