News | May 4, 2022

DLA firefighters save lives in New Cumberland apartment fire

By Dawn Bonsell, DLA Distribution Public Affairs Officer

As fire raged through an apartment building on 813 Bridge Street, New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, Defense Logistics Agency firefighters assigned to DLA Installation Management Susquehanna Fire & Emergency Services responded to the fire alarm at 7:26 a.m. Dec. 30. Initial reports from the scene identified a fire in a first-floor apartment and multiple victims trapped on the second floor.

“Like a well-oiled machine these firefighters arrived trained, equipped and prepared to initiate actions to rescue victims and stop the fire spread,” said Barry J. Shughart, Fire Chief, DLA Installation Management Susquehanna Fire & Emergency Services.

DLA firefighters save lives in New Cumberland apartment fire
Nathan Confer, Defense Logistics Agency Susquehanna firefighter, receives the DLA Life Save Award for selflessly rescuing two victims trapped on a second-floor rear balcony of an apartment building fire in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, Dec. 30, 2021. Rob Montefour, DLA Installation Management site director presented the award April 13, 2022.
DLA firefighters save lives in New Cumberland apartment fire
DLA firefighters save lives in New Cumberland apartment fire
Nathan Confer, Defense Logistics Agency Susquehanna firefighter, receives the DLA Life Save Award for selflessly rescuing two victims trapped on a second-floor rear balcony of an apartment building fire in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, Dec. 30, 2021. Rob Montefour, DLA Installation Management site director presented the award April 13, 2022.
Photo By: DLA Distribution Public Affairs
VIRIN: 220413-D-D0441-0002

DLA Susquehanna Fire Capt. John Fogg was off duty, but near the building, when the alarm sounded and was on scene within seconds, slowing the fire spread through an exterior window with a pressurized water extinguisher. DLA Susquehanna’s Truck 69 arrived on scene and confirmed a rapidly growing first floor fire with two victims trapped on a second floor rear balcony. When they arrived, the crew split into two teams, with Capt. Sam Keim and Timothy Horner on the inside and Nathan Confer and Keith Dolon on the outside. Horner successfully forced entry through the locked front door, providing firefighters immediate access to the fire where they initiated fire suppression operations. Keim and Horner then proceeded into the smoke filled building to search three other apartments.

Confer placed a 28-foot ground ladder at the rear of the building, positioned to rescue the two trapped victims and then proceeded up the ladder where he was able to assess them. With assistance from Truck 12’s crew they were able to assist the trapped victims safely to the ground where they were treated by the on-scene ambulance crew and released with minor injuries. Dolon quickly positioned Truck 69’s aerial device on the roof, providing the incident commander an immediate situation report of the roof conditions. Following these initial actions, all members of Truck 69’s crew worked together with other firefighters to conduct ventilation, salvage and overhaul operations. Their efforts resulted in the recovery of several hundred dollars of personal effects as well as a government owned computer.

For their heroic actions, Keim, Dolon, Horner and Confer received a DLA Fire Unit Citation Award. Confer received the DLA Life Save Award for successfully rescuing the two victims trapped on the second floor balcony and Fogg received the DLA Fire Chief Award for his exceptional bravery and firefighting skills to slow the fire spread.