2 Citizens, 2 Firefighters Honored For Saving Brother & Sister
DARLINGTON TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — Darlington Township commissioners honored two citizens and two volunteer firefighters Monday evening for saving a brother and sister from a burning Beaver County home.
The first broke out the morning of Jan. 27.
Firefighter Brock Crawford insists he didn’t do anything special.
“It’s a little bit of a surprise to see that they were honoring us for doing something that we are trained to do that we are more than willing to do for nothing,” Crawford said.
Township residents Stephanie DiRuscia and Ryan O’Hara were driving past the home on Darlington Road on Jan. 27 when O’Hara realized the house was on fire.
Ryan stopped the car and called 911. DiRuscia ran to the front door to get the house number for dispatchers. There was no number on the mailbox.
DiRuscia said she heard a woman’s voice calling for help from inside the burning home.
“She must have heard me yelling and she started screaming for help,” said DiRuscia. “I don’t really remember opening the door, but I guess I opened it because she wasn’t able to walk. She was just lying there and we both went in there to get her out because I wasn’t able to get her out myself.”
The woman told DiRuscia and O’Hara her brother was still inside.
Michael Drabick, the other volunteer firefighter honored by the commissioners, won’t soon forget that early morning call. He and Crawford went into the home to look for the other survivor.
“It was very chaotic,” Drabick said. “We were trying to look for him real hard and once we got to him and got him out… it was a very relieving feeling once we got him out and got him on a stretcher and got him on his way to the hospital.”
DiRuscia says the whole story is a little unreal for her because she and O’Hara typically do not travel that route on the way home from Ohio.
“I will always remember and cherish as long as I am in the fire service,” says Crawford. “I will always look back upon as to what I did that day, and hopefully in the future, repeat that, as well as save another life.”
The training of Crawford and Drabick — combined with the help of two good Samaritans — means two people survived the January fire.