Tony Dunkelberger was planning on stepping outside for one last cigarette before going to bed, sometime around 3:15 a.m. on Thursday. 

He works second shift at Harley-Davidson in York and was winding down. 

But when he opened the door, he saw his neighbor's mobile home on fire. 

The woman who lived there was blind, Dunkelberger said, and he heard her screaming for help near the front door, which was open. 

Dunkelberger ran over and opened the screen door and pulled her out, he recalled, minutes before firefighters arrived. 

Tony Dunkelberger

Tony Dunkelberger, 39, pulled his neighbor from her burning house around 3 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020.

The woman was taken to the hospital for burn injuries to her arms and legs, according to East Hempfield police. She was taken to Lehigh Valley Health Network Regional Burn Center in Lehigh County. 

"He took a large amount of risk," Rohrerstown Fire Company assistant chief Joe Shapiro said. "But he saved that woman." 

Dunkelberger was still awake around 10 a.m. Thursday morning as he recalled the night before. 

"I was just doing what a normal human would do," he said. 

Dunkelberger said he didn't feel like what he did was heroic and said his instincts just took over. But Shapiro said his quick response was "definitely paramount." 

Her home, 9 Travelo Drive, was deemed a total loss and is being investigated by the Pennsylvania State Police fire marshal, Shapiro said. 

The fire also displaced a family in the neighboring home and the Red Cross said they are assisting four adults and two children. 


For more Lancaster police news:

What to Read Next