Good samaritans respond to “suspicious” Lebanon fire

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Tom Drupp and two other men jumped into action when they saw smoke coming from an apartment building in Lebanon early Thursday morning.

It was around 2:30 a.m. Drupp and his friend Preston Slee were on their way home from a late-night job when they noticed smoke coming from the third floor of 547 N. 10th Street.

“My instincts just kicked in and I think adrenaline, and I just kicked the door in, ’cause I knew this was a dire situation,” Drupp said.

Drupp, Slee and another man knocked on all of the apartment doors to wake people up. One of those people is John Betz, who was in a pretty deep sleep.

“I went over and shook his hand and let him know that I’m thankful, because who knows, a fire could be deadly,” Betz said.

Everyone inside the building got out safely. Drupp said he was happy to help, but that others are far more deserving of praise.

“The real heroes that I look at are the firemen,” he said. “They come out, they’re doing this every day, every night.”

It was the first fire crews responded to that night.

About an hour later, dispatch received a call about another fire just a few blocks away at 518 N. 8th Street.

That fire started in a stairwell on the second floor and moved up to the third floor. The building has three apartments and everyone got out safely.

Lebanon Fire Commissioner Duane Trautman is calling the two fires suspicious. Neither were electrical and both buildings are managed by the same company.

The property manager tells FOX43 that she also finds the fires suspicious and hopes police catch whoever started them.