4 firefighters honored for heroic efforts in rescuing woman from vehicle crash | TribLIVE.com
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Renatta Signorini

Four firefighters were honored this week for their heroism in rescuing a woman from a Hempfield vehicle crash that involved a downed power line.

The men extinguished a fire caused by the line and freed the woman from her sport-utility vehicle, Westmoreland County solicitor Melissa Guiddy said, reading a certificate.

“Without the quick thinking and heroic efforts of these men, the outcome may have been very different,” Guiddy said.

County commissioners honored High Park fire Chief John Howell, Jeannette fire Chief Bill Frye, Harrison City fire First Lt. Zach Lavelle and Penn fire Capt. Carl Watson. They were among firefighters called to Penn Adamsburg Road on Feb. 11 just before 8 a.m.

The vehicle had slid on ice and hit a utility pole, Guiddy said. A power line burned a couple feet short of the vehicle, but electricity was still conducting to the ground. Photographs from the scene show small burn marks near the top of the vehicle’s windshield.

Once the fire was extinguished and the electricity stopped, the woman was taken to a hospital. Guiddy said the four firefighters were in the “right place at the right time.”

Each received a certificate of heroism.

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