ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A firefighter involved in a life-saving rescue by rushing into a burning apartment alone is the focus of this edition of First Responders Spotlight.
This is as close as it gets to showing the real challenges firefighters face during an emergency through body-cam footage of Captain Ben Cramer from Canandaigua.
One night last September, an automatic fire alarm went off in an apartment building on North Main Street and Cramer rushed to the scene.
“When I got there, some residents said there was some smoke upstairs, so I went upstairs and saw some smoke coming from the apartment,” Cramer said. “I assumed someone was inside, so I went inside, put my air pack on, and could hear someone making noise.”
There was a woman trapped in an apartment. The room was filled with smoke and, according to the footage, it is pitch black.
“I used my thermal imaging camera, went through the smoke, and found this person — she was laying by a window, actually,” Cramer said. “I was able to drag her out through the apartment — some obstacles to get out the door to rescue her.”
Cramer eventually got the victim out of the building where more support was waiting. He then went back into the building to finish the job and put the fire out.
Canandaigua’s Fire Chief Frank Magnera shared his thoughts on the rescue.
“It’s amazing, again, we’re a small department, so we don’t have the resources available on hand as much as some of the larger departments,” Chief Magnera said. “So when these guys make these rescues, it’s extraordinary.”
The woman found in the smoke-filled apartment did survive. She went to a burn center and was released a few days later.