HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Bystanders saved a baby from a burning home Thursday afternoon as flames quickly spread from one half of the Allison Hill duplex to the other.
By early evening, a rehab crew was sealing up the house on Greenwood Street with plastic and plywood, but it was still apparent how badly both sides were burned.
Luckily, neighbors were there to make sure no one inside went with them.
Firefighters got there fast; within three minutes of getting the call. A neighbor who just calls himself Antonio got there faster.
“Thank God the firemen got here on time,” Antonio said. “We saved the baby before they got here.”
A mother and her baby were trapped on the second floor. Antonio was on the ground waiting, he says, as she dropped her child from the porch roof.
“They threw him from the roof. I caught him, so the baby is fine,” he said. “So, if all lives are fine, everything’s good.”
“The baby’s fine. The mom’s fine as well,” Fire Chief Brian Enterline confirmed.
The duplex went up quickly. A hot day made even hotter by what Enterline called a stubborn fire.
“It was high heat in there,” he said. “The ceilings are a little bit lower in these older homes. It was pretty warm on the second and third floor and then you come out and you really can’t cool off.”
That’s one reason he said they called out a second alarm: to get more manpower on scene so some of the firefighters could take a break, grab a bottle of water and cool off.
The call came in early Thursday afternoon. Flames spread fast from one side of the duplex to the other and melted siding on a third.
One firefighter was hurt during the response. Enterline said he fell and hurt his back and was taken to the hospital for treatment.
Investigators were looking for a cause while at least five people looked for somewhere else to stay.
“They’ve lost everything,” Enterline said. “We’ll be getting the Red Cross to come out and help them.”
The side where the fire started — somewhere on the first floor or porch — is pretty well gutted by the flames. Antonio said that can be rebuilt.
The life he may have helped save could not.
“I was here and I helped out,” he said.