MINERSVILLE, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — There was a dramatic fire rescue of a 12-year-old girl with autism in Schuylkill County.
It happened Friday afternoon at a burning home in Minersville. It was a collaborative effort between firefighters and police as they battled extreme heat and smoky conditions, with a child’s life on the line.
“We heard Nyah, the 12-year-old yell, and when she yelled, we looked up the stairs and it was full of smoke,” homeowner Patrick Elias said.
Fierce flames quickly spread inside Elias’ home on the 400 block of North Street in Minersville. His 12-year-old stepdaughter Nyah, who has autism, trapped on the second floor.
“We couldn’t do anything. We had to run out. The smoke was gonna knock us out. And Officer Brown, as we were running down, he’s running up,” Elias said.
But the officer had to run back out until firefighters arrived with protective gear and broke an upstairs window to reach the child. Once she was pulled from the burning home, officials say six firefighters and two police officers needed medical treatment for the toll conditions took.
“It’s one of the most hot and humid days of the year. So, you combine that with the heat and the smoke from the fire, that drains the firefighters and police officers here trying to correct the situation and rescue someone,” Minersville Police Department Chief Michael Combs said.
Nyah was then flown to the hospital, as her mother and five siblings remained at the scene. While the family’s home was destroyed, Elias says things could have been a lot worse if it wasn’t for the brave responders.
“I’m proud and I’m happy, and if I could volunteer right now, I would,” Elias said.
The family is being helped by members of their community and the Red Cross. A state police fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.
The child’s condition, and the status of the injured first responders, is unknown at this time.