HANOVER TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- It was an inspirational evening in Luzerne County as a police officer came face to face with the man he pulled to safety during a terrible house fire last month.
Hanover Township Police Officer Donald Mantush was clearly moved as Police Chief Al Walker addressed those in attendance at the Hanover Township commissioners meeting telling of the night Officer Mantush saved David Phillips from his burning home.
It was on November 3 in Ashley when Phillips's house along South Main Street went up in flames. Officer Mantush was on duty and responding to another call when he passed the home on fire. He broke down the front door and went inside.
"Heavy smoke pouring out the front of the door, at that time I got on my stomach and crawled in trying to locate the resident," said Officer Mantush.
David Phillips heard Officer Mantush and tried to scream for help, but the smoke was too much. Officer Mantush yelled out again, asking if there was anyone inside, and Phillips used all his strength to yell back.
"Then he just told me to wave my arms and stuff, that he couldn't see me, and eventually he got me by my wrists and drug me out, said Phillips.
Phillips lost his two dogs in the fire, and Officer Mantush was injured during the rescue.
"Officer Mantush had a separation from his bicep from his arm, which required surgery to repair," said Hanover Township Police Chief Albert Walker.
At this commissioner's meeting, Officer Mantush was honored for his heroic actions and was given three plaques. One was from the Board of Commissioners in Hanover Township, another was from the mayor of Ashley, and one was from David Phillips as a way to say thank you.
"I don't know how to thank him enough. I just want to thank him and tell him I appreciate what he did for me. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be here today, so," said Phillips.
"This is my job. This is what I do, and a man's life was saved because of it," said Officer Mantush.