Wheelchair-bound man airlifted after mobile home catches fire


TOWN OF ANNSVILLE — A wheelchair-bound man was hospitalized after fire officials said his clothing caught fire inside his mobile home Saturday night, and he had to crawl across the floor to reach a telephone.

The victim’s condition was not immediately available this morning. Officials said he is a man in his mid-60s, who lived alone in a mobile home at 9706 Glenmore Road.

Taberg Fire Chief Douglas Dean said the cause of the fire remains under investigation this morning. He said the man’s clothing and wheelchair caught on fire.

“He got out of his wheelchair and dragged himself 12 to 15 feet to a phone to call 9-1-1,” Dean stated.

The man made the call at 7:23 p.m. and volunteers from three fire departments responded. Dean said he was the first officer on the scene, but he couldn’t get inside because the door was locked.

“I had two guys force entry in. They were able to get inside and drag the occupant to safety,” the chief said.

Firefighters immediately began rescue efforts on the scene until AmCare Ambulance arrived and took over. The man was then rushed to a Mercy Flight helicopter waiting at the old Annsville Elementary School, Dean said. He was flown to University Hospital in Syracuse.

Once the man was safe, the chief said the fire itself was a “quick knockdown”. The crews launched an interior attacked and doused the flames inside the home in a matter of minutes. The mobile home is not a total loss.

The residence “could be livable” again with some work on the inside, the chief stated.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, Dean said. No firefighters were injured.

The Taberg, Camden and North Bay fire departments responded to the scene. The McConnellsville Fire Department managed the helicopter landing zone.


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