Neighbors Help to Rescue Couple
Trapped in Burning House

Several men who noticed their neighbors’ house was on fire helped rescue two people inside the house, one of whom was unconscious.

The fire on East Main Street in Sherman, New York, was reported at 7:30 this morning. Before firefighters arrived four men who were working on the roof of a neighboring house learned that 63-year-old James and 58-year-old Norma Sittnick were trapped in a second floor bedroom. They took their ladders to the house and, with help from another neighbor, got to the Sittnicks.

Sheriff’s deputies say when they and firefighters arrived they took over the rescue. James Sittnick was unconscious when he was removed from the house. Neither of the Sittnicks had any apparent burns. They were first taken to UPMC Hamot, but were then both taken to UPMC Presbyterian in Pittsburgh for treatment of smoke inhalation.

Authorities believe the fire started in a rear entry room to the house and appears to be an accident, but they will wait until they can interview the Sittnicks before making a final determination. Sheriff’s deputies noted that there were not working smoke detectors in the house.

The people who helped rescue the couple are Dan Miller, Ray Miller, David Miller John Chapman and Jeff Ireland. Sherman firefighters Jay Irwin, Doug Crane, Michael Courtney, Ben Crane and Ray Spacht, and Sheriff’s Department Investigator Randy Boland and Deputy Kristie Lyon also assisted at the scene.

Sherman firefighters were assisted by Findley Lake, Clymer, Mayville, Chautauqua, Ashville and Bemus Point Fire Departments.

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