Neighbor rescues infirmed man from burning Flanders house

TIM GANNON PHOTO | Firefighters at the scene of Monday's house fire on Priscilla Avenue in Flanders.
TIM GANNON PHOTO | Firefighters at the scene of Monday’s house fire on Priscilla Avenue.

An elderly Flanders man was rescued from his burning home by a neighbor Monday morning.


Joe Marshall said he was driving along Priscilla Avenue to his mother’s house Monday morning when he saw smoke rising from a house at 91 Priscilla Avenue.

“It didn’t look right,” Mr. Marshall told the News-Review.

“So I stopped and I was going to knock on the door, and when I got up to the door, I could hear the crackling in the window,” he said of the blaze, which started about 9:30 a.m. “I started pounding on the door to get his attention. I said ‘you have to get out!”

Mr. Marshall said the overhead electrical wires leading into the home were beginning to explode at this point.

The elderly man, who had already suffered burns on his back from things falling on him, and who uses a walker, came to the door and Mr. Marshall got him out of the building. He then gave the man his coat.

A Southampton Town Police officer at the scene confirmed that Mr. Marshall rescued the man, whose name was not released by authorities. The fire victim was the only occupant in the home, police said.

Smoke from the fire, which at its peak was scene pouring out of the sides of home, spread throughout Flanders Road.

Mr. Marshall, who lives just east of the fire victim’s property, said the man told him he had just had a heart operation and that his [homeowner’s] insurance had been canceled recently.

The man was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation by Flanders Northampton Volunteer Ambulance and transported to Peconic Bay Medical Center.

“I was getting ready to leave and my wife peered out the door and yelled “Smoke! Smoke!,” said another neighbor, Kevin Fleming, who lives across the street. “The flames were coming out the side and also out the front bedroom window. It was all orange. It was aglow.”

Additional information on the victim’s condition was not immediately available.

The Flanders and Riverhead fire departments responded to the scene to extinguish the flames.

Southampton Town and New York State police also responded.

The cause of the blaze was not immediately clear. Southampton Town fire marshals are investigating.

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