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Man involved in Ober Street fire rescue says it was ‘kind of a blur to me’

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MASSENA - On his way to the St. Regis Nursing Home Wednesday evening, Massena resident Darrel Dailey made an unexpected, dangerous pit stop that was certainly not on his agenda.

Mr. Dailey was en route to the nursing home on Grove Street to present plaques to veterans who are also residents of the facility when he made his way onto Ober Street to pick up a couple of passengers.

At around 6:30 p.m., he said, he was directly involved in a fire rescue at 2 Ober St. that resulted in one woman being taken to Massena Memorial Hospital Wednesday night before being transferred on Thursday to Fletcher Allen Medical Center in Burlington, Vt.

“One of the neighbors said, ‘The house is on fire. The house is on fire,’” Mr. Dailey said. “I immediately went in the house and saw the lady in the living room. I told her ‘We have to get out!’ Everything happened so fast. I ran up onto the porch. I said ‘You need to come out, you can’t stay here.’

“The room was filled with smoke and the flames were on the right hand side climbing up the wall,” he said.

Massena Fire Chief Thomas C. Miller was on the scene a short time later and said that the resident’s granddaughter, Lee Mary Carr, was outside of the home when she heard her grandmother’s initial screams.

“The smoke detector went off and (Ms. Carr) heard her grandmother yelling. She opened the door and she saw her grandmother’s pajamas on fire,” Mr. Miller said. “So she removed the PJ pants and grabbed her grandmother and began to bring her onto the porch. That’s when Lee saw (Mr. Dailey) and they got her out and put her grandmother in his van.”

“I had my wife pull the van up the street. We had gotten her in the van and wanted to make way for the fire trucks,” Mr. Dailey added. “Everything happened so fast. It is kind of a blur to me. We just went in and got her. It was quick reaction and something that had to be done.”

Mr. Miller said that the occupant of the multi-unit home, who was not identified, dropped a cigarette which caused the blaze. The fire was ruled accidental.

Thirty eight members of the fire department were on hand for an hour and extinguished the blaze. Minor damage was contained to the area of origin.

“There was one fireman who had a fire extinguisher and charged up onto the porch and into the house. He emptied (the extinguisher) in the room. He charged into the room. That first fireman did a great job when he ran up and broke the windows,” Mr. Dailey explained. “The response was fast and there were men running all over. We have one of the fastest fire departments in Northern New York. They are very fast and very efficient. They are true heroes.”

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