Mail carrier to receive honors for fire rescue
MUNCY – It was all in a day’s work. That’s how mail carrier Dean Burgett felt when he alerted a family of a fire underneath their mobile home on Wednesday afternoon, March 26, at Fox Croft Manor in Clarkstown.
Burgett was making his rounds on his daily rural route when he noticed a heavy blaze and lots of smoke at the back end of their trailer. “Their fuel tank was on fire,” he said and immediately notified the residents. Another neighbor called 911.
The Post Office has a hero award according to Rusty Larson, acting Customer Service Supervisor. “We submitted Dean Burgett’s name to our Hero’s Corner and he will be recognized at a luncheon,” Larson said.
Averting the noble deed, Burgett who has been a postal employee for almost 27 years said, “Anyone would do it.” He said he was just doing his job, delivering mail and getting accountable signatures at the trailer park when he saw the fire.
Burgett rushed to the homeowner, Norman Egli, who was not aware of the fire and asked him if he had a fire extinguisher. By then the fire was spreading and Egli and his 19 year old son and Egli’s girlfriend, Lori Budman, made it out safely before the fire burnt through from the back end.
Meanwhile Drew Davis, another neighbor, had two portable fire extinguishers, and he and Egli tried to put out the fire fearing the fuel tank could blow up at any moment. But efforts were needless, as the flames kept coming back.
Muncy Area Assistant Fire Chief Greg Delany arrived on the scene and saw flames shooting out a back window shortly after 3 p.m. Delany reported the fire was believed to be electrical in nature and likely was sparked by heat tape underneath the mobile home. “The fire started there and spread quickly to a back bedroom,” he said. A shed nearby was also damaged as well as most of the trailer by the time firefighters arrived.
Volunteer firefighters from Muncy Area, Hughesville, Picture Rocks, Pennsdale, Clinton Township and Washington Township responded to the fire. The bulk of the fire was knocked down in about 30 minutes.
It was a windy day recalled Burgett. “I wish I could have seen it sooner. I could have helped them more and there wouldn’t have been as much of a loss,” he said. But everyone was safe and lives were saved thanks to a caring community and every day workers like Dean Burgett. “The fire could have spread to another home,” Delany said.
Egli and his family received help from the American Red Cross with damage estimated to be at least $40,000. There was no insurance to cover costs.