CARBONDALE — Firefighters from several departments in Lackawanna County helped battle a house fire in Carbondale Monday morning.
When the second floor gave out, some firefighters were injured from the fall and two other were pinned underneath.
The fire chief in Carbondale says four firefighters were rushed to the hospital, and more could have suffered injuries when a second floor loft in the front of the home collapsed.
The smell of smoke was thick; you could see it far away from Fallbrook Street in Carbondale. You could hear all the typical noises, water rushing and the sound of the alarms on firefighters’ air packs. Then, the sound firefighters say puts a pit in their stomachs.
“I could hear the floor creaking, the sound that no other firefighter ever wants to hear.”
Firefighters were wrapping up their efforts when a second floor loft collapsed bringing several firefighters down with it and trapping two others underneath. Carbondale Fire Chief Chris Pezak was checking out the second floor when the floor beneath him gave out.
“We were standing on the second floor. It’s like a loft area when all of a sudden it just started crumbling. It was like slow motion, it just gave out. I fell down and ended up underneath. I don’t know how I ended up underneath and that’s where I met the two firemen who were trapped,” Pezak said.
Fellow firefighters said the two trapped were Brandon Allen and Greg Davis, who work for both Jermyn and Mayfield fire departments. They are friend and brother-in-law respectively to Robert Flynn who was one of the first to run in and rescue them.
“Both guys have been firefighters for a while, trained, I’ve trained with them. They are good friends, family even, and it’s just disheartening. Your heart sinks and you just go into survival mode,” Flynn said.
Two others from the Carbondale Fire Department were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. Chief Pezak suspects the floor he and the other firefighters were standing on wasn’t built quite right since it all came down in one piece.
“The inspector’s going to get in and look at this. We’re going to get to the bottom of this because we have guys hurt.”
Chief Pezak told us that two of the four firefighters who were injured have been released from the hospital. Two are still being checked out and both may have several broken bones.
The owner of the home wasn’t here at the time the fire broke out no one else was injured.
Firefighters were called back just before 6 p.m. when fire rekindled in the place.