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Hagerstown men rescue boy from fire

March 08, 2000|By JULIE E. GREENE

A 5-year-old Hagerstown boy was in fair condition at Washington County Hospital Wednesday, thanks to two Hagerstown men who entered a burning house to find him Tuesday night, officials said.

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Thomas Connolly arrived home shortly before 10:30 p.m. Tuesday to find his home on fire and his girlfriend's 5-year-old son still inside, said Hagerstown Fire Marshal Tom Brown.

Connolly and his friend, Danny DeVille, went to the second floor of the 242 1/2 N. Locust St. duplex to find the boy, Brown said.

Connolly found the child unconscious in his bedroom and took him downstairs, Brown said. When Connolly realized the boy wasn't breathing, he performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the child, Brown said.

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Although the smoke detector worked, the fire was burning rapidly, Brown said.

"We were very fortunate because we very easily could have had a tragic loss of the 5-year-old. Without Mr. Connolly's efforts and Mr. DeVille's efforts we probably would have had a fatality there," Brown said.

The boy, whose name Brown would not release, had suffered smoke inhalation, Brown said.

His 2-year-old brother also was taken to Washington County Hospital, but the hospital had no record of treating the boy. Brown said the younger boy did not appear to be hurt.

The cause of the fire was under investigation, Brown said.

The fire began in the mother's second-floor bedroom, he said. The mother, Jill Tobery, called 911 at 10:24 p.m. to report the fire just before Connolly arrived home, Brown said.

Both boys had been in their upstairs bedroom when the fire began, the younger boy was watching television while the older boy may have been asleep, Brown said.

The second floor of the two-story brick duplex was extensively damaged by smoke and heat, Brown said. No damage estimate was available.

It took firefighters about 20 minutes to put out the fire, emergency officials said.

Brown said the fire did not reach the other half of the duplex.

The house is owned by David Anderson, of Hagerstown, Brown said.

The Hagerstown Fire Department, Community Rescue Service and the Washington County Air Unit responded.

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