Men save kids from burning homes

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York City firefighters weren’t the only people rushing to Gerard Avenue Friday as fire was damaging a few homes.

Roy Hedrick and Chuck Nispel were down the street working in a garage when they noticed the smoke. As they got closer, they saw the fire had spread from where it started at 433 Gerard Avenue to a series of town homes on E. Prospect Street.

Hedrick recalled, “Me and him was running down the alley. I heard the kids inside the house hollering, ‘Help! Help! Help!'”

He and Nispel saw that another man driving had stopped. He had a ladder in his truck. The men quickly got to work, helping 10 people get out of two burning apartments. There were six kids living in those apartments.

“And I was helping them bring them down because they were all shaken up, crying, bawling,” said Nispel.

Fire fighters got the call around 1:30 p.m. Eventually, it became a three-alarm fire. Fire fighters were battling not just the flames but the heat wave rolling through the region.

“Very hot day, we’re trying to get the firefighters in, get them out, get them rehabbed. So, we’re trying to rotate crews as much as we can,” said Acting Fire Chief David Michaels.

No one living in the homes nor any fire fighters were injured. Medical crews were at the scene as well, ensuring the fire fighters were safe to continue working and handing out water.

The damaged homes were condemned. The people living in the apartments said the Red Cross was helping them find a place to stay. Fire investigators have not determined a cause.