Mom on roof of burning Pa. home drops baby to waiting neighbor

The Harrisburg duplex was completely destroyed but thankfully, everyone inside made it out okay

Baby saved from Harrisburg duplex fire.
Courtesy: WHTM

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Bystanders saved a baby from a burning home Thursday afternoon as flames quickly spread from one half of a duplex to the other.

By early evening, a rehab crew was sealing up the house on Greenwood Street with plastic and plywood, but it was still apparent how badly both sides were burned.

Luckily, neighbors were there to make sure everyone inside got out.

Firefighters arrived within three minutes of getting the call. A neighbor who just called himself Antonio got there faster.

“Thank God the firemen got here on time,” he said. “We saved the baby before they got here.”

A mother and her baby were trapped on the second floor. Antonio was on the ground waiting, he said, as she dropped her child from the porch roof.

“They threw him from the roof. I caught him, so the baby is fine,” he said. “So if all lives are fine, everything’s good.”

“The baby’s fine. The mom’s fine as well,” Fire Chief Brian Enterline confirmed.

The duplex went up quickly — a hot day made even hotter by what Enterline called a stubborn fire.

“It was high heat in there,” he said. “The ceilings are a little bit lower in these older homes. It was pretty warm on the second and third floor and then you come out, and you really can’t cool off.”

That’s one reason he said they called out a second alarm to get more manpower on scene so some of the firefighters could take a break, grab a bottle of water, and cool off.

The call came in early Thursday afternoon. Flames spread fast from one side of the duplex to the other and melted siding on a third.

Enterline said one firefighter fell and hurt his back. He was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Investigators were looking for a cause while at least five people looked for somewhere else to stay.

“They’ve lost everything,” Enterline said. “We’ll be getting the Red Cross to come out and help them.”

The side where the fire started — somewhere on the first floor or porch — is pretty well gutted by the flames. Antonio said that can be rebuilt.

The life he helped save could not be replaced.

“I was here and I helped out.”

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