Firefighters rescue woman, pets from flames in Dauphin Co., neighbors rush in to help

SWATARA TWP., DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. -- At least four people are without a home after a fire at a duplex in Dauphin County.

The Swatara Township fire chief tells us crews rescued one of those people, a 76-year-old woman, from the fire within two minutes of arriving on scene.

He says flames destroyed the duplex on Boyer Street in Swatara Township Monday afternoon.

“It’s always a challenge when you’re dealing with patients so you have multiple things going on. There’s obviously large amounts of fire when we arrived, and the guys made a very quick rescue," said Chief Mike Ibberson, Swatara Fire Company.

One man says he rushed to the house with his father to lend a hand.

“The one dog was on the porch and the fire was coming out the back window, and I grabbed the dog and took off, and my father helped as well. He grabbed the dog on the leash in the back. Initially, the black dog was not breathing. A firefighter, me, and my father helped resuscitate it," said Joseph Swartz, a neighbor.

Swartz says there was no other option than to help.

“It’s kind of hard to see people go through a struggle and people not have a shoulder for you," added Swartz.

Members of the community watched from the street. Some told FOX43 how terrible they feel for their neighbors.

“I feel so bad. I hope they’re okay. This is tragic. This is a lot happening around me right now," said Madison Scott, a neighbor.

Scott lives just up the road. She says smoke filled her home and left behind a distinct odor.

“Burnt… completely like smoke…. smores," explained Scott.

Another woman watched firefighters walk her mother back inside the building to get important prescriptions.

“I was talking to her and she kind of laughed about something and she seemed in awfully good spirits about it, and she said, ‘I’m watching my house burn down. It’s not real yet.' She said, ‘I don’t know how I’m supposed to be my house is burning down,'" said Jamie Leinninger.

Leinninger is unsure of when, if ever, her mom will be able to live here again.

"Just in shock. It’s crazy," said Leinninger. "You don’t expect things like this to happen.”

Chief Ibberson says the home is destroyed, and the status of the woman who went to the hospital is not known.

Right now, officials are still trying to determine a cause.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.