3 rescued in Beech St. house fire

By Karen Zautyk 

Observer Correspondent 


The Kearny Fire Department, responding to a Beech St. house fire last Thursday evening, had the blaze knocked down in 20 minutes, but not before rescuing three residents who were trapped on the front-porch roof.

Fire Chief Steve Dyl credited KFD dispatcher Brian McCurrie with keeping the three from panicking while they awaited help. “The 911 call came in directly to the department, and he [McCurrie] stayed on the phone with the caller, who was on the roof, and was able to keep them calm until firefighters rescued them,” Dyl said.

The two women and a man, who had fled to their precarious perch from the second-floor residence, were safely brought down by Firefighters Victor Girdwood and Ron Protokowicz, Dyl said.

Two men in the first-floor apartment had managed to escape on their own.

The fire in the two-story, wood-frame home at 47 Beech, between Oakwood and Quincy Aves., was reported at 7:09 p.m. and was out by 7:25, Dyl said, but, due to flame, smoke and water damage, the residents all had to find other shelter.

Two of the victims were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation and minor lacerations.

The blaze is believed to have started in the front room on the first floor, but the exact cause is under investigation by KFD Chief Inspector John Donovan.

The roof rescue was not the only one credited to Girdwood and Protokowicz. While they were searching the interior of the house, they saw a small dog run into a first-floor room and found him hiding behind a TV. They coaxed him out and carried the frightened pup, who was shaking as they held him, to safety.

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