RFD saves four from house fire, heroes say rescue came down to training and teamwork


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A fire Thursday on North Street saw the Rochester Fire Department rescue four people from a burning house with no injuries. Two firefighters on-scene said the quick work came down to two things: training and teamwork.

Firefighter Barry O’Connor was the driver who raced to the scene. “We saw somebody at the window. One of the guys was seeing people trapped. I turned around and looked, I opened the back door of the rig, I grabbed the ladder, threw the ladder up,” he says.

As soon as the ladder hit the wall, Firefighter Tom DaRin climbed up. 

“There was a male inside, we told him to shut the door, that prevents the fire spread. Basically, that helped him out a lot, and then we just lowered the people down,” says DaRin.

O’Conner says their quick action all comes down to training… and more training. “It’s all muscle memory. You just do what you need to do to help somebody out,” he says.

Lt. Jeff Simpson says a woman inside heard what she thought was a smoke alarm going off and called RFD. She then smelled smoke behind a door, behind it — flames. 

“(She) closed the door immediately and came out front. By the time she got to the front of the building, the fire truck was there,” says Simpson.

O’Connor, DaRin, and others were there within two minutes. Eddie Santiago with the firefighter’s union says when it comes to prevention, check your appliances in this heat and make sure your smoke detectors are working.

“Just keep an eye on things and know that when they need help, we’ll be there to help them,” says Santiago.

O’Connor says when it comes down to any fire rescue, no one here works alone. “This really is a team effort, everybody that’s there.”

RFD says if you do NOT have a smoke alarm in your home and you’re a city resident, just call 311. RFD can get you one free and install it for you. The cause of this fire is still under investigation. 

(Video from the scene/rescue provided by AJ Wright)

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