Medic helps save residents from fire

September 20, 2008 4:38:43 PM PDT
Timing and courage may have saved residents from a fire in West Philadelphia.

A fire broke out inside 38 North 51st Street, just after 12:30 Saturday morning. The flames quickly spread to two neighborhing homes.

Aleania McDanils, a city EMS medic, came home from work after midnight and saw a boarding house across the street on fire.

The flames were shooting from the upper floors. Seeing this, McDanils charged into the house and managed to get five people out alive.

All were asleep in the home when the fire was burning.

"When I got out of the truck, I saw smoke coming out of the roof, and I ran over there, starting banging on the door, went inside, went all the way up to the third floor, got everybody out, except the one person the medics came out with," McDanils said.

A sixth person was rescued by firefighters who arrived on the scene within moments. He was injured.

The fire marshal has not ruled on the cause, but the resident on the top floor is known to smoke in bed.

In the meantime, neighbors appreciate the heroism of Aleaina McDanils.

"That was real heroic for her to do that because if it wasn't for her, they probably wouldn't have gotten out alive," Keisha Midget said.

McDanils had taken the firefighters test years ago, but didn't enter the department because she was admittedly scared to enter a burning home.

Saturday morning, the medic overcame her fears and rushed into the burning home.

McDanils does not consider herself a hero.

The Red Cross is offering help to those now left homeless.

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