Two people rescued from house fire on Elsdon Street

Two rescued from fire on Elsdon Street

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Rochester firefighters rescued two people from a burning house Thursday morning. First responders said it happened on Elsdon Street — and could have been much worse if the neighbors didn’t call it in as soon as they did. 

Michael Healy and his adult son Brandon Healy-Ragans live across the street. They’d been about to head out on some errands, when Michael said he heard a fire alarm going off across the street. 

It was for a property that had been vacant for months. The family said that a few weeks ago, two people had broken in and had been squatting there since. 

“We both was like ‘Why does it smell like burning wood?'” Healy-Ragans said. “Just to be safe, I decided to call 911. The moment they got here smoke just started coming out the back of the house.”

Minutes after the 11 a.m. call, first responders were on scene. They were able to get in through a side door, where they found a man trying to get down the burning staircase. As they helped get him out of the house, he said his girlfriend was stuck upstairs.

Once they got to her, the staircase had been burned almost completely. She was taken out via a window on the second floor. Public Information Officer Santos Cruz said that the call coming in so quickly helped save the two inhabitants lives.

“People tend to pass out quickly [from smoke inhalation],” Cruz said. “We were able to get to these individuals due to the neighbors placing that call, and for the firefighters being able to get to the building and able to make that save.”

Firefighters confirmed the two people inside did suffer from smoke inhalation, but they left the area before ambulances arrived. Healy-Ragans said he was happy he could help.

“I feel good because a few years ago I actually witnessed my old apartment engulfed in flames,” he said. “So I’m glad I was able to save two people’s lives today.”

It has been a busy 48-hours for RFD. Crews responded to two house fires and a three-alarm building fire on Wednesday morning and a deadly house fire on Bernard Street that night. They also responded to a fire at Salvatore’s Pizzeria on East Main Street on Thursday morning.

Cruz said that while the city is aware of the increase in activity, they’re not sure yet what’s to blame — or if there is a reason.