PLYMOUTH, Pa. (AP) - A neighbor crawled on his hands and knees
into a burning house as he tried in vain to save a disabled father
and son.
Andrew Herman Sr., 70, and Andrew Herman Jr., 47, were killed in
the fire Friday night in Plymouth.
Loren Emick, a neighbor, heard three loud booms just before
midnight and realized his neighbors' home was ablaze.
"I yelled in and Mr. Herman yelled back," Emick said. "Mrs.
Herman kept trying to go in, and I got on my hands and knees and
tried to enter the house, but I only made it four or five feet.
Anyone who went in that house wasn't coming out."
Both men were disabled. Herman Sr. previously had lost both of
his legs to diabetes. His son had lost much of his cognitive
ability in an accident when he was a teenager.
Antonia Herman, 71, was at home at the time of the fire. She was
taken to a hospital and released.
"They met in a factory where they both worked, in New Jersey,"
Emick said of the Hermans. "Their son was really kind, and his
disability made him seem like a very young, very friendly child."
State police said the fire started accidentally. A flammable
liquid container in the basement emitted vapors, which were ignited
by the pilot light of a gas furnace, state police said.
Plymouth is in Luzerne County, about 100 miles north of
Philadelphia.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)