House fires in two towns early Saturday morning caused firefighters to run into a burning one in Radnor to rescue a 94-year-old man while first responders in Sharon Hill worked to contain a row home fire there hours later.
Around 12:30 a.m., Radnor Fire Company was dispatched for a fire with possible entrapment at 348 Louella Ave.
Police were first on scene and reported that it was a working fire.
"There was a lot of heavy smoke," said Joe Maguire, Radnor Fire Company chief. "When we first got there, you could hardly see the house because of the smoke. The wife had gotten out of the house."
He said a neighbor was walking the elderly lady up the street.
"They stated the husband was still inside," Maguire added.
So, firefighters rushed into the single family residence to save him.
"They found him up on the second floor," the fire chief said. "They brought him out and put him right on the stretcher."
Maguire said the man, who he believed to be 94-years-old, was first taken to Paoli Hospital, then transferred to Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia.
"He's still alive," the fire chief said. "He did regain consciousness in the ambulance on the way to the hospital."
Maguire said the lady from the house was also taken to a hospital for smoke inhalation but seemed to be in a condition that she would recover.
Unfortunately, their pet dog died in the fire, the chief said.
No firefighters were injured in the two-alarm blaze., however, Maguire noted that the hot, humid conditions proved a challenge to his crews. The chief indicated he rotated crews to battle the fire in light of the conditions.
"It was such a hot night," Maguire said. "We wanted to make sure we had enough personnel."
The chief explained that the fire was under control in approximately 45 minutes and that the Radnor, Berwyn and Gladwyne fire companies responded to the first alarm, as well as the Radnor Intervention Team. Numerous area fire companies responded to the second alarm, he added.
Maguire explained that the homes in this section of the township are turn-of-the-century homes and the properties are sizable, so the nearby ones were not in jeopardy.
However, Maguire saluted all the first responders.
"All of the firefighters, especially those who effected the rescue, did a good job," he said. "The did whatever they had to do to get the fire under control. They did a very good job under the circumstances with the heat and humidity."
Although he said the fire does not appear to have been suspicious, the origin and cause remain under investigation and that the state police fire marshal had begun to do his evaluation to make those determinations.
At the other end of the county, in Sharon Hill, fire officials there were also continuing to investigate an early morning blaze that ripped through a row home in the unite block of Clifton Ave. at 3:15 a.m.
About 30 firefighters from Sharon Hill, Glenolden, Folcroft, Darby, Collingdale No. 1 and Holmes for the Rapid Intervention Team helped put the two-story dwelling fire in the middle of the row under control in about 20 minutes, according to John Croce, captain of the Sharon Hill Fire Company.
He said no one was injured and that the three people inside the home at the time of the fire got out safely.
Croce added that the fire marshal will continue the investigation to the origin and the cause of the fire on Monday morning.