On This Day in FFD History

January 18, 2017 Events  No comments


A reprint from the Cumberland Times-News Saturday, January 18, 1992
Student suffers severe burns in apartment fire

A Frostburg State University student remained hospitalized in serious condition today with burns he suffered during an apartment fire early Friday. Two other people escaped without injury.

David Williams Pear Jr., 21, of Silver Spring, was found in the hallway of the burning apartment building at 30 Stoyer Street at about 3:30am by Frostburg firefighters. He had apparently collapsed while trying to escape, said Deputy Chief State Fire Marshall Bob Thomas. Pear was being treated in Frostburg’s intensive care unit in serious condition, said a hospital spokeswoman. He was then flown to the Francis Scott Key burned center in Baltimore later in the morning for treatment of possible internal burns due to smoke inhalation, said Frostburg Fire Chief Gary Tummino. Pear also suffered second-degree burns to his face, back, left hand and arm when the fire broke out in his first-floor apartment.

Two other occupants Kristen Howell and Hillary Gibbons, escaped from their second-floor apartment when an electric smoke detector activated. They were not injured. “Thank the Lord for the electric detectors. We had tried to remove the batteries but we couldn’t find any, said Howell. Deputy chief state fire Marshall Bob Thomas said investigators determined Friday afternoon that discarded smoking materials on a living room sofa on the first floor sparked the blaze.

It took nearly 100 firefighters from Allegany and Garrett counties about 30 minutes to control the flames the two alarm blaze caused roughly $50,000 in damage, mostly to the first floor, said Thomas. The building is owned by Tim Humbertson, of Grantsville said Chief Tummino. Deputy State Fire Marshal James Martin investigated. Other companies responding included Shaft, Clarysville, Eastern Garrett, LaVale, Midland, Mount Savage, Frostburg Area Ambulance and LaVale Rescue Squad.

Firefighters pull man from an inferno – Pair credited with saving his life.

Two Frostburg volunteer firefighters were credited with saving the life of a Frostburg State University student who collapsed inside his fire-engulfed apartment early Friday. David Pear Jr., 21 was carried from the hallway of his residence by Lt. Ken DeVault and Firefighter William Davis as smoke poured from the two-story apartment building. The first-floor kitchen and two bedrooms were involved in flames at the time, according to Frostburg Fire Chief Gary Tummino.

Pear reportedly sustained second-degree burns to his face back, left hand and arm and suffered smoke inhalation during a two-alarm fire that broke out about 3:30 AM chief, no said, “when we got there, smoke was coming out all of the first-floor windows and the ease of the second floor. The two girls who had called and told us they were sure there was still someone in there. Ken and Bill were on the first unit to arrive they entered the building and began to search. At that time, the kitchen and bedroom on the first floor were involved in flames. They began their search and found him collapsed in the hallway.

As both firefighters recalled of the events of the fire Friday afternoon. “We forced entry through a side door with a hose line behind us,” said Lieutenant DeVault, a four-year veteran. “We searched the first bedroom than the hallway flashed. The crew knocked it (fire) down and we proceeded to the second bedroom where we found David on the floor facing into the hallway.” Firefighter Davis said he and DeVault used pike polls and axes to aid them in searching the burning bedrooms. “They hit the fire (with water) and it flashed, Ken yelled that he found one. We both grabbed him and carried him outside,” he said.

Chief Tummino praised DeVault and Davis following the rescue. “Every time a volunteer gets in a situation like that he places himself in extreme danger. It is only through their knowledge and willingness to keep up on their skills that they are able to affect such a rescue.” “Both of these firefighters have quite extensive training. They’re fast action in this fire was a direct result of their training. I’m extremely proud of their efforts and their dedication. It makes my job as chief easier when you have dedicated people such as firefighters DeVault and Davis in the fire service,” the chief said. Both firefighters said they felt good that they help save a life with Davis adding, “it makes all the training worth it.”

*More pictures can be found at Frostburg Fire Department Facebook page*

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