Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
Firefighter gets third skin graft
BY LARRY ALEXANDER, and BRIAN WALLACE, Staff writers
As a Lancaster firefighter continues to recover from injuries he suffered while trying to rescue two people from a burning building, a pub and a city couple are raising funds to assist him and the families of those who perished in the Feb. 18 blaze.
Lt. Andre Kelley remains in Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Upland, Delaware County, where he underwent his third skin graft on Monday, a family member said.
"It was a lot longer than the first two, so he was in pretty bad shape yesterday," the family member said.
Kelley is "heavily sedated" but is able to eat soft food on his own.
"All the tubes are out, though, and they had him on his feet over the weekend," the family member reported.
Despite it all, he said, Kelley remains "in pretty good spirits."
On March 5, Molly's Pub donated all of the day's proceeds, $8,166, to Kelley's recovery fund.
The firefighter was badly burned in the blaze, which broke out in a row house on East Madison Street. Kelley became trapped in a "flashover," which happened when the contents of the room he was in reached the combustion point and exploded into flames.
He was rescued by fellow firefighters but suffered burns over 40 percent of his body.
Two people who were trapped inside the home, Pauline Stone, 38, and 6-year-old Leilani Roman, died in the fire.
Two other firefighters also were injured. Tom Bender sustained first- and second-degree burns, and Craig Robertson broke a vertebrae while fighting the blaze.
To help the families of those who perished, neighbors Richard and Wanda Walls, of 226 E. Madison St., are organizing a benefit dance and auction to be held April 7 at Amvets Post 19.
The event will run from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the post, 715 Fairview Ave. Tickets are $5 and are available in advance, through Amvets or at the door.
The event will raise funds to help with funeral costs and assist the families as they begin to rebuild, according to organizers. Other money raised during the event will go to a "Brotherhood For Andre" fund for Kelley.
The April 7 fundraiser will include music by Adriano, plus food and auction items. Donors are needed to provide food, beverages, party supplies and auction items.
For more information, call Lisa Sica at 823-2845. Donations can be dropped off at the Amvets post.
Molly's owner, Anthony Maglietta, said people who could not attend the fundraiser at the pub can make donations directly to the Andre Kelley Fund, P.O. Box 1235, Lancaster, PA 17608.
Checks should be made out to "the Andre Kelley Fund."