Dozens displaced, firefighter injured in Roxborough fire

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - November 20, 2010

Authorities say firefighter George Savoy is now alert and talking after initially being rushed to Einstein Medical Center in critical condition.

Meanwhile dozens were forced to find a place to stay after an early morning fire ripped through their homes.

Firefighter George Savoy remains at Einstein Medical Center in critical but stable condition.

Investigations are underway internally in the fire department and the Philadelphia Police accident investigation division to figure out what exactly happened as they were fighting the Roxborough blaze.

"We believe that he was struck by one of our fire vehicles as they were getting positioned and setting up rescue and setting up hose lines, that he was accidentally injured that way," said Commissioner Ayers.

When firefighters arrived at the Abbey House Apartments on Domino Lane, they found flames shooting from the second and third floors.

One person was trapped but rescued, and 100 residents of the 97 unit building fled into the early morning cold. One woman suffered smoke inhalation but was treated at the scene.

The blaze which was reported at 5:25am, went to 3 alarms before it was brought under control an hour and a half later.

According to the complex owner, 47 of the units were destroyed.

A shelter for the evacuees was set up by the Red Cross at the Shawmont School.

Laura Ragaini, her fiancé and son Michael got out along with their dog, but said it wasn't easy.

"We got low to the floor because of the smoke, and we had towels around our head. They were still a little bit damp which helped, and we crawled out," said Michael Ragaini.

"I got the door opened and I got out into the hallway, and I was getting all confused and dizzy, and I thought that I was going to die. And all of sudden I heard someone say, 'I got you, I got you. You're alright,'" said Laura Ragaini.

Ragaini says her own father was killed in a house fire when she was a child. She says she is thankful to the firefighter who saved her life this morning.

"Some of these folks have lost everything at this point. Some will be able to get back in and get their medicines and salvage whatever clothing that they have," said Donna Palmieri of the Red Cross.

The owner of the complex says he has a limited number of units in another building for some of those displaced. However, the rest will either stay with family or rely on additional help from the Red Cross.

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