Flashover Catches Pa. Firefighters at Deadly Blaze

 

Three Pennsylvania firefighters were injured, one seriously, in a fire early Mondy that killed a woman and a little girl.

Lt. Andre Kelly and Firefighter Tom Bender were inside searching when they encountered a flasover, WPMT reported.

The Lancaster firefighters, who started their search even after having trouble getting water from a hydrant,  called a Mayday, and had to be rescued, the station reported.

A 37- year old woman and a six year old girl are dead and three firefighters were hurt during an early morning row house fire along East Madison Street in Lancaster. The fire started just after 4:00 a.m. this morning and trapped the two people inside a second floor bedroom.

Describing conditions for reporters, Lancaster Fire Chief Tom Gregg said: “There was heavy smoke. It was totally obscured. Since there were multiple reports of entrapment a crew made access immediately up to the second floor...A flash-over is when the room heats up, the ignition temperature and everything bursts into flames at once. Almost in an explosive fashion.”

Both of the firefighters were taken to Lancaster General Hospital. Firefighter Craig Robinson and Tom Bender were released after a short treatment.

Kelly was flown by medical helicopter to Crozer-Chester Medical Center.

“When they first got up and started searching they found a family pet a dog, and things were happening so quickly, I believe they thought it was a child. The firefighters that were up there are taking it very tough,” the fire chief said.

All of the firefighters will be able to talk to a psychologist to deal with the loss. “When they first got up and started searching they found a family pet a dog, and things were happening so quickly, I believe they thought it was a child and the firefighters that were up there are taking it very tough,” said Gregg.

Diana Marin, a cousin of the victims told reporters: “I just wanted to say thank you for risking your life to go in there and try to get my cousin and her niece. We appreciate it. They went in there anyway. They risked their life and to me they did the ultimate sacrifice, going in there to protect and get everyone out safely and we really appreciate that..."

Another family member, Scott Gelter added that although there was no water at the hydrant, the firefighters went in to attempt the rescue. "...God bless them they are heroes, they went in the house anyways and they sacrificed their lives for a job, you know they did the best they could.”

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