Rescuers credited with heroic actions in Gloversville fire

October 20, 2017 07:19 PM

GLOVERSVILLE - No warning and no way out. People living in a Gloversville house woke up early Friday morning to a fire. If it were not for rescues by police and firefighters, those four might not be recovering.

Once the fire at 25 Grand Street started, there was no way these people were going to get out of the front of the house. They were lucky a Gloversville police officer was just driving by and immediately sprang into action. NewsChannel 13 obtained the body cam footage.

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Officer Malinda Palmer rolled up to an already roaring fire at 3:30 a.m.

Smoke detectors weren't going off, so the officer started yelling.

Jeremy Dake, 43, came running out, but he was screaming that his mother was still inside.

Meanwhile, Officer William Christman and Sgt. Robert Brown pulled up and sprinted towards the house. They went into the thick smoke and got the 60-year-old mother out.

With a cast on her arm and an oxygen tank, they carried her to safety.

However, that was just the first floor apartment. Francis St. Andrew and his friend were still upstairs and couldn't get out the front door.

“Thick, dark, black smoke,” described St. Andrew. “I went to touch that door. That door was so hot I couldn't.”

The battalion chief says when he came around back, he heard noises coming from inside the stairwell, but the people from the second floor couldn't get out because junk was piled up on the inside and outside of the door.

Battalion Chief Brendt Minkler cleared the doorway and got the two people out.

The two people downstairs were airlifted to Upstate Medical and all four are expected to recover. However, they're lucky with no working smoke detectors and the back entrance barricaded.

“The smoke is what puts you to sleep, so if you don't smell the smoke, or hear the commotion, or have some other way of waking up that alert from the smoke detector, puts you behind the eight ball immediately. A fire doubles in size every 30 seconds,” noted Chief Tom Groff with the Gloversville Fire Department.

For the police, only Sgt. Brown had more than four years of experience. However, they reacted without hesitation.

St. Andrew didn't hesitate to thank every one of the first responders.

The fire chief says a power strip was overloaded and sparked the fire in the front of the house.


WNYT Staff

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