Fayette EMS help man, dog out of home on fire
A stroke of luck, instinct, training and common sense was enough for two Fayette EMS employees to come to the rescue of a Masontown man, getting him safely away from a fire on the man's back deck.
Between 7 and 8 a.m. Wednesday, EMT Annie King of Perryopolis and paramedic Gabe Nalepka of McClellandtown were on standby at Fayette EMS's German/Masontown station.
The rescue workers were preparing to return to their station in Republic. They opened the bay doors to the German/Masontown station and noticed smoke coming from a house across the street.
Nalepka called Fayette 911 while King ran across the street. The back porch of the home was on fire.
“The structure was still safe for us to be on the porch,” King said.
She began pounding on the door. No response.
“It felt like a long time,” she said.
King and Nalepka finally got the attention of the man, who lives with his dog.
“He had no idea it was happening,” King said. “He was shaken up, but unharmed.”
The Fayette EMS employees helped the man and his dog across the street to the station to keep them warm.
The duo then rushed back to the house, grabbed a garden hose from the garage, strung it across the street and started to spray water on the porch fire until they heard the sound of propane hissing.
They backed away as firefighters arrived on the scene and quickly had the fire under control.
“The fire itself never made it inside the house,” King said. “The fire destroyed the back wall and deck, but there was only smoke and water damage inside the house.”
King and Nalepka set up a rehab center at the station to keep the firefighters warm.
“It makes you proud to be a boss,” said Rick Adobato, a director with Fayette EMS. “They went above and beyond what they're supposed to do. They used their heads.”
“They teach us patient safety and removing patients from harm's way,” King said. “We couldn't just stand there.”
Adobato said Nalepka, who couldn't be reached for an interview, is also a firefighter with McClellandtown VFD.
“It was dumb luck we saw the fire right after it started,” King said.
“We save a lot of lives, but this stands out,” Adobato said. “They used their instincts, common sense and training throughout the years. They even took care of the man afterwards. They even used some of their clothes to keep him warm.”
No matter what training and dedication the two showed in the situation, everyone involved cannot ignore the fact that it all started with being in the right place at the right time.
“Everything just came together right,” Adobato said. “Had they not witnessed it, I'm afraid of what could have happened.”
Mark Hofmann is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-626-3539 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 2 dead in Bullskin crash
- Late Frazier superintendent’s vision of new school nearly a reality
- Connellsville Area High School’s marching band to play national anthem at PNC Park
- PORTERFIELD: Nicholson family reunion set at Indian Creek Valley Community Center
- Purchase paves the way for razing of Connellsville building
- Connellsville man accepts plea in break-ins
- Agriculture chief touts local products in Fayette County visit
- Police: Former Fayette attorney who took drugs to jailed client apparently overdosed
- More charges filed against Uniontown serial robbery suspect
- Permit allows storage of explosives on Upper Tyrone property
- Beloved Connellsville choral, musical director memorialized