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Firefighter, Neighbor Credited With Saving Fire Victims

Posted on: 4:40 pm, December 3, 2013, by

HAZLETON — A mother and daughter had to be rescued from their burning home in Hazleton. They’re now in the hospital being treated for smoke inhalation.

A firefighter and a neighbor are being credited with saving them.

Hazelton firefighters responded to a smoky blaze on East Diamond Avenue before just before 7 a.m. Tuesday.

There were two people trapped on the second floor: Amanda Yanac and her 5-year-old daughter Ryleigh. Before firefighters arrived, a neighbor tried to rescue them.

“The smoke just came right at me, boom. I couldn’t make it in. I couldn’t take all that smoke. I started screaming, ‘ma’am, come on down.’ ‘I can’t, I can’t’” said Ralph Rodriguez.

Rodriguez, with the help of firefighter Brian Madrak, finally pulled the two to safety.

“She had a little girl, looking out the window. I guess they were looking for air, gasping for air. I grabbed the ladder out it around the back and put it up,” Rodriguez said.

“The neighbor actually saved their life, definitely saved their life.  If it wasn’t for him, they probably wouldn’t be here right now,” said relative Ron Fitzgerald.

“Thank God for a neighbor who got the people out of the house because it could have been a total disaster,” said neighbor Charlie Ziegler. “Five minutes difference would have made a world’s difference.  The people could have died.”

A cat, three dogs and a snake were also pulled to safety.  Investigators say the fire started in the living room and does not appear suspicious. Amanda Yanac and her daughter Ryleigh are in a hospital for breathing in too much smoke.

According to the Hazleton fire chief, at some point the city will officially recognize the heroic efforts of those who rescued the mother and daughter.


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