WILKINSBURG (KDKA) – We often take their sacrifices for granted, but Friday’s fire in Wilkinsburg was a stark reminder of how firefighters routinely put their lives on the line.
One day after they saved an elderly woman’s life and then saw seven of their brothers get injured in a fire, emotions are still running high for members of the Pittsburgh Fire Bureau. Union President Ralph Sicuro says an 86-year-old woman is alive because of their heroics. Firefighters pulled her from the second floor and carried her down a ladder to safety.READ MORE: Crews Battle Overnight Fire At Indiana County Elementary School
“It was a great save,” Sicuro said. “They all did it as a team effort. There’s never one person that can do it alone, whether the firefighters that were in the building or the firefighters that were outside, making sure she was able to get down.”
A firefighter who carried the grandmother suffered burns on his hands.
“We became firefighters because we wanted to be able to make a difference,” Sicuro said. “Yesterday, they were absolutely, without question, able to make a difference.”Retired Ohio Sheriff And Tiny K-9 Partner Die On Same Day
“It’s a good way to start your year when you can say, ‘I saved someone’s life,’” Mayor Bill Peduto said. “And I wanted to make sure those firefighters realize that Pittsburgh understands that.”
Mayor Peduto went to the hospital to personally thank each of the seven injured firefighters injured in the rescue and while battling the blaze. The fire raged out of control, trapping them inside the house. Some had to jump from the second and third floors to survive.
“These men have faced death,” Sicuro said. “They were on the verge of a situation where if they didn’t react quickly, it could have been the end.”
Sicuro says it was a gut-wrenching feeling for firefighters who saw their brothers get hurt, but he admits they’re well-trained and they’re aware of the dangers.
“There’s never mistakes that were made. Let’s make that clear,” he said. “But we want to make sure, can we do things different to change the outcomes? We don’t know.”MORE NEWS: Pittsburgh Public Schools Announces 'Summer B.O.O.S.T.' Program To Address Pandemic Learning Gap
Six of the seven injured firefighters were out of the hospital Saturday night. The woman they rescued is hospitalized and in stable condition.