Home on Second Street burns
Andrew Helman of 28 Second St. believes the lives of two Catasauqua men, ages 21 and 27, were saved by the selfless actions of a Catasauqua Police Department officer.
In a telephone interview with The Press Monday afternoon, borough Police Chief Douglas Kish said Officer Arthur Williams, on a routine patrol, reported a home at 30 Second St. was on fire Sunday morning at 2:47 a.m.
Kish said Williams saw smoke coming from the home and decided to stop.
Springing into action, he kicked the back door in and entered the building, woke up one of the two men sleeping there and escorted both men out of the building.
"He pulled them out of the building," Kish said.
According to the North Catasauqua Fire Department website, the Catasauqua, North Catasauqua, Whitehall, Han-Le-Co, Nancy Run and Greenawalds Rescue fire departments along with the Northampton Regional EMS and Hanover Township EMS responded to the call.
Fire department and emergency crews on site took one hour to bring the fire under control.
One firefighter was transported from the scene for treatment, according to the website.
The firefighter was later treated for dehydration and smoke inhalation and released from the hospital.
The American Red Cross of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chapter reports it assisted "a family that was displaced," providing clothing and food, and followed up to offer additional services, if needed.
Helman, who lives next door to the home, spoke to The Press Saturday afternoon.
He said he became aware of the fire around 2:45 a.m.
"I heard glass explode and wake me from my sleep," Helman said. "I actually thought a plane crashed. It sounded like a 747. It made a noise I'll never forget."
Lisa Vaughan of Catasauqua, who also spoke with The Press Saturday, said she was returning to her Catasauqua home around 2:30 a.m. when she noticed a large crowd gathered in front of a home on Second Street which was on fire.
"I saw flames shooting out of the roof," she said.
The single family detached home at 30 Second St. is currently owned by Daniel Batchelor, according to Lehigh County tax records.
The home sustained extensive damage to the inside of the first and second floors along with damage to the outside of the home.
The home is currently uninhabitable.
Next door, Helman's home sustained fire damage to the front outside of the house along with damage to a tree located in his frontyard.
As of Saturday afternoon, he was residing in his home.
Helman said credit needs to be given to those who responded to the call and provided assistance such as Williams, the entire police department and the fire departments and emergency crews on site.
"We live in a good community with good people," Helman added. "God is great because those two young men are safe."