Police officer saves woman from mobile home fire before oxygen tanks inside explode

By on July 20, 2016

 

A police officer saved a 51-year-old woman from a burning East Cocalico Township mobile home July 13 just before oxygen tanks in the home exploded.

East Cocalico police Officer David Fisher quickly responded when he received a call about a fully-involved mobile home fire with a woman trapped inside at 8:26 a.m.

“I was sitting at the cemetery right next door, so I was here within a minute,” Fisher said of the home at 475 Wabash Road in Haldeman’s Mobile Home Park.

The woman, who placed the 911 call herself, told the dispatcher she was oxygen-dependent and worried about the tanks inside her home.

LNP Photo East Cocalico Police Officer David Fisher at the scene of the mobile home fire.

LNP Photo
East Cocalico Police Officer David Fisher at the scene of the mobile home fire.

“I kicked the door and immediately got hit with heavy fire and smoke, so I knew I couldn’t get in that way,” Fisher said.

The woman stuck her face out a window along the side of the home. The window was too small for her to fit through.

Fisher went to the back of the home and dislodged a window air conditioning unit by pushing it inside. He then instructed the woman to crawl across the floor.

With the help of a neighbor, Fisher pulled the woman out through the window.

“She was out for maybe a minute or two, and the big tank in the front blew,” he said.

Neighbor Sierra Blackey, 13, said she woke up this morning to a “very loud boom.”

“I saw large flames and smoke. I was worried for the neighbors,” she said.

Blackey’s father helped Fisher pull the woman through the window and to safety.

“She seemed distraught because of her home, and she was happy because she was saved,” Blackey said.

“I’m only 13, so this hit me hard.”

The woman, who police did not identify, was the only person inside the home. She was treated then released from WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital, according to East Cocalico Township police Officer Josh Sola. Her husband was not home at the time of the fire, Fisher said.

Eight or nine cats were in the home, he said. Two were rescued and taken to a veterinarian.

Crews from Stevens, Reamstown, and Denver fire companies fought the blaze. The one-alarm fire was under control quickly, Fisher said, but firefighters continued to work on the scene for several hours.

The cause of the fire was traced to an electrical malfunction inside the home, Sola said.

Lindsey Blest is a staff writer at LNP.

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