Off-duty firefighter rescues man from smoke-filled basement fire

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Jeff Scire has been a member of the Independent Hose Company in Frederick for the last 30 years and while on the job he’s learned an important instinct.

“You don’t think about it. You just do. You act,” said volunteer firefighter for the Independent Hose company, Jeff Scire.

Officials say the call for a basement fire at a home along Indian Springs Road went out at about 4:30 pm. Scire was off duty and at home at the time but recognized the fire was less than a mile away.

“When I got there on the scene, it was way before any firetruck was there. The owner of the house, his wife was out front stating ‘My husband is trapped inside,” Scire explained.

Scire went straight for the burning basement, without any gear, and searched for a man through thick smoke.

“Pulled my hood up and my shirt up like this and then ran about ten feet into the basement to rescue [because] I heard him saying ‘help.’ And [I] drug him from there outside and then up the steps to get him to the yard and that’s when the firetrucks ending up showing up,” Scire recalls.

The victim was flown to a hospital in Baltimore. Scire remembers the man was severely burned.

Days later Scire is confident he made the right decision.

“If I had to wait for a firetruck, it wasn’t coming anytime soon. It was easiest to go into overdrive, ‘John Wayne time’, and do what you’ve got to do for your community,” Scire said.

Officials say cause of the fire was the use of a blowtorch by one of the homeowners.   

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