Meet Cops Who Saved Elderly Woman From Burning Home - New York News

Meet Cops Who Saved Elderly Woman From Burning Home

Posted: Updated:
PHILADELPHIA -

Despite all the nasty headlines, there are still some heroes out there, folks who put their lives on the line to save others.

Remember this huge fire in South Philadelphia a week ago? The flames gutted four homes and damaged several others.

But no one died, and that's because of the quick work of a pair of Philadelphia police officers.

FOX 29's Bruce Gordon met those hero-cops Friday.

Officers Bryan Sullivan and Dan Pignataro were on routine traffic duty around dusk last Friday night when they saw smoke billowing from the 3200 block of Chaucer Street.

Firefighters hadn't even been called yet as they headed for the danger.

Cellphone video captured the out-of-control fire.

As Pignataro arrived on the scene, neighbors shouted that an elderly woman who lived alone at 3239 Chaucer was still inside.

Pignataro raced to the front door and spoke through the wrought iron frame and glass: "I said, 'Your house is on fire. You have to come out.' She said, 'It's not a fire.' I could look behind her, to the rear of the house, and I could see the smoke."

The woman, clearly frightened and confused, would not come out, and police could not get in.

By now, Sullivan had joined Pignataro at the French doors a few feet away.

Sullivan said, "Dan breaks it down, and then, once Dan breaks it down, you could see that, you know, he's a little injured.  So I believe, if I recall, that I just kicked it in. I'm a soccer player, so I just kick things."

"What goes through your mind as you're doing that?" Gordon asked.

"It doesn't. Nothing. Just get her out. That's it," Sullivan said.

Joined by a police lieutenant and a couple of civilians, Sullivan again argued with the women, who insisted there was no fire.

Finally, Sullivan said, "I grab her from the front and kind of make our way, slowly, inch-by-inch, with all the debris. And we kind of stumble a little bit, fall a little bit, but we get up and get out."

A week later, neighbors are still assessing the damage and marveling at the heroism of the men who saved the woman's life.

Mike Koplove, whose home was damaged in the blaze, said, "You know, it's crazy how fast the fire went up. It gives you a perspective. It shows you how real it is, the danger that they put themselves in – and the firemen – every single day."

"You don't sign up for jobs like the police department, fire department, paramedics, to not want to help people," Sullivan said.

Pignataro said, "It's got to be done, so you know, why am I going to worry too much about it, you know what I mean? You have to do what you have to do."

The rescued woman, whose home was among those gutted by the fire, was known on the block as Angie. She was first reported to be 89 years old but may in fact be 103!

A neighbor tells us she is fine and is now living with a grandson in the New York City area, Gordon reported.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Tip Leads To Marijuana Bust Inside Havertown Residence

    Tip Leads To Marijuana Bust Inside Havertown Residence

    Tip Leads To Marijuana Bust Inside Havertown Residence

    Thursday, April 24 2014 12:31 AM EDT2014-04-24 04:31:43 GMT
    Haverford Police have arrested a local doctor and his daughter accused of growing and distributing marijuana inside their home.Haverford Police have arrested a local doctor and his daughter accused of growing and distributing marijuana inside their home.
    Haverford Police have arrested a local doctor and his daughter accused of growing and distributing marijuana inside their home.
    Haverford Police have arrested a local doctor and his daughter accused of growing and distributing marijuana inside their home.
  • DUI Driver Will Not Be Charged In Teen's Death

    DUI Driver Will Not Be Charged In Teen's Death

    Thursday, April 24 2014 12:24 AM EDT2014-04-24 04:24:27 GMT
    Cops say a driver accused of hitting and killing a Bucks County teen and injuring another while driving under the influence of prescription drugs and cocaine will not be charged.
    Cops say a driver accused of hitting and killing a Bucks County teen and injuring another while driving under the influence of prescription drugs and cocaine will not be charged.
  • Forest Fire Burning In Cumberland County

    Forest Fire Burning In Cumberland County

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:17 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:17:05 GMT
    Skyfox was over the scene near Ackley Road in Downe Township Wednesday night.
    Skyfox was over the scene near Ackley Road in Downe Township Wednesday night.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Camilla's brother dies in New York after head injury

    Camilla's brother dies in New York after head injury

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:04 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:04:50 GMT
    The brother-in-law of the Prince of Wales died Wednesday after falling outside a hotel bar and suffering a head injury, police said. Mark Shand, the brother of Prince Charles' wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, was in New York for a charity auction at Sotheby's.
    The brother-in-law of the Prince of Wales died Wednesday after falling outside a hotel bar and suffering a head injury, police said. Mark Shand, the brother of Prince Charles' wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, was in New York for a charity auction at Sotheby's.
  • Deep split in Port Authority over unfinished WTC tower

    Deep split in Port Authority over unfinished WTC tower

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:03 PM EDT2014-04-24 01:03:40 GMT
    Board members of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey revealed a deep split Wednesday over the agency's role in effecting the completion of the long-delayed 3 World Trade Center project, with some commissioners lauding the effort and others expressing grave concerns. The discussion at the monthly board meeting offered a rare glimpse into the negotiations that have been going on behind the scenes in recent months.
    Board members of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey revealed a deep split Wednesday over the agency's role in effecting the completion of the long-delayed 3 World Trade Center project, with some commissioners lauding the effort and others expressing grave concerns. The discussion at the monthly board meeting offered a rare glimpse into the negotiations that have been going on behind the scenes in recent months.
  • God's Love We Deliver virtual bake sale for birthday cakes

    God's Love We Deliver virtual bake sale for birthday cakes

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:36 PM EDT2014-04-23 22:36:46 GMT
    God's Love We Deliver provides meals to people in the New York City area who are too sick to shop and cook for themselves. Clients also receive birthday cards that are decorated by local school students. Sometimes a cake is the only birthday gift that God's Love's clients will receive.
    God's Love We Deliver provides meals to people in the New York City area who are too sick to shop and cook for themselves. Clients also receive birthday cards that are decorated by local school students. Sometimes a cake is the only birthday gift that God's Love's clients will receive.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices