Couple critical after fire in Strasburg
Pair rescued from blaze that started in home's furnace. By Cindy Stauffer, Staff Writer email@example.com
A young couple was in critical condition Saturday after being rescued from an early morning fire in Strasburg.
Working quickly, firefighters entered a burning Miller Street home, crawled on their hands and knees through thick black smoke, feeling around on the floor until they located the pair, who were both unconscious.
They then handed the couple out of a window to other firefighters, and exited themselves, as the fire spread around them.
Hunter Mentzer, 19, and Emily Good, 18, were in critical but stable condition, and being treated for burns and smoke inhalation today at Crozer-Chester Medical Center following the rescue.
Strasburg Assistant Fire Chief Scott Weichler said several people were outside of the home at 107 Miller St. when firefighters arrived shortly after 2:30 a.m. Saturday.
They showed firefighters where Mentzer and Good, both college students, were trapped, pointing to a window that was more than 5 feet off the ground, Weichler said.
In the meantime, firefighters from the Lampeter Fire Department had arrived, making their way quickly from a nearby accident where they had heard the call.
"They said they were in a first-floor bedroom," said Lampeter Fire Capt. Adam Ebersole. "That's when Jake and I quick put our masks on and then went in to find them."
Ebersole and Jacob Miller immediately encountered thick black smoke when they entered the home.
"We were crawling from the get-go as soon as we got in the door," Ebersole said.
Miller found the couple's bedroom door. Mentzer was just inside the door and Good was by the window, Ebersole said.
By that point, Weichler had gotten a ladder up to the bedroom window, and broken it out. Firefighters were waiting to take the couple down the ladder to emergency medical workers.
Ebersole and Miller followed them down the ladder.
"Jake and I both bailed out the window then," Ebersole said. "The conditions were deteriorating that bad, just from the fire, and the heat. I couldn't see the flames but it was getting really hot."
The couple was taken to Lancaster General Hospital and then airlifted to Crozer-Chester for further treatment.
Mentzer's parents, Alan and Doris, own the home and also live there, along with Alan Mentzer's parents, who were in Florida at the time of the fire. The home also has a second-floor apartment, where a father and son live.
Alan Mentzer said his son is studying criminal justice at HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College. Good also is a student there, he said. Both are graduates of Lampeter-Strasburg High School. Mentzer said his family will stay with other family members while repairs are being made to the home, which was not habitable.
Weichler said the fire started in the home's furnace and spread from there, and was ruled accidental by a state police fire marshal.
He estimated the damages to be at least $225,000.n