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Firefighters, policeman honored for roles in rescue

September 24, 1999|By RICHARD F. BELISLE

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Seven Waynesboro firefighters and a local police officer where recognized Friday night for their roles in rescuing a man and two children from a burning apartment house last July 16.

Honored were firefighters Steven T. Biesecker, Robert E. Biesecker, Trayer C. Stoops, Brian L. Starliper, Mark E. Dale, Robert E. Ashway, William P. Kauffman and borough police officer Stuart G. Hannah.

Luke Feitner and the two children, Cassie Baer and Tyler Freedom, were rescued in the early evening fire from a third-floor room where they had gone to escape the flames. The fire started in the kitchen.

Hannah was injured when he tried to reach the victims by entering the building on West North Street from the ground floor, Fishack said.

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Firefighters pulled the trio to safety with a ladder truck and bucket.

Each of the honorees was presented with a citation from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives by Rep. Pat Fleagle, R-Franklin, and a commendation from the Borough of Waynesboro by Mayor Louis Barlup.

Also Friday night a new award, the fire department's highest award for valor, was introduced by Waynesboro Fire Chief G. Dale Fishack. Named for the late C. Nevin "Barney" Barnhart, the award, a red, white and blue ribbon, was pinned on the chests of each of the eight men.

According to Fishack, Barnhart, who died in October 1996, joined the fire department as a volunteer in 1961 and worked his way up to paid driver four years later. He rose to the rank of assistant chief and was involved in a heroic rescue when he saved an elderly man from a burning house at Cleveland and Ridge avenues in 1968, Fishack said.

Barnhart's widow, Karolina V. Barnhart, and her daughter, Tania Seburn, were given a plaque of the award by Fishack.

"He would have been proud of this and of the boys (in the department) that he helped to train," his widow said.

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