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City man, dog rescued from house fire

Early morning blaze breaks out on Thanksgiving

A man and a dog were rescued from a Thanksgiving Day structure fire on the 800 block of Bell Avenue.

Firefighters were dispatched at 4:45 a.m. Thursday for a working structure fire with confirmed entrapment.

When the Altoona Fire Department arrived, Assistant Chief Daniel Drumm said the man and dog were seen hanging out of the window and trapped on the second floor of the residence.

Drumm said firefighters quickly extricated the man and dog and no injuries were reported.

“We train on rescue efforts all the time,” Drumm said, noting that firefighters arrived on scene within two minutes of the dispatch.

“The person trapped, who was also the one that called 911, gave us a good location of where he was at. The first-in crews went right to him,” Drumm said. “That’s the first thing we try to determine when we get on scene — if everyone is out of the house.”

Drumm said after rescuing the man and his dog, firefighters directed their efforts toward extinguishing the flames.

Firefighters discovered heavy fire in the rear of the building when they arrived on scene, and the flames eventually spread to a second residence, causing some damage to the second home.

“The houses in that area are all pretty close to each other,” he said.

The first building suffered heavy fire damage, and the resident was displaced from the home, Drumm said.

Firefighters used several handlines to extinguish the flames, and Drumm said when first responders were en route to the scene, they could also see smoke and flames from as far as

17th Street.

Several off-duty firefighters were dispatched to the scene, and crews cleared the scene about 9:30 a.m.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, Drumm said.

Mirror Staff Writer Calem Illig is at 814-946-7535.

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