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Schuylkill County News

DRAMATIC VIDEO: Neighbor Pulls Man from Burning Home in Minersville

Oscar Rivera being hailed as a hero by many of his neighbors for his brave actions.

Oscar Rivera, of Minersville, is being hailed as a hero by many in his neighborhood after scaling a ladder to reach an elderly man trapped in a burning home on Sunday, April 14.

Oscar Rivera was in the backyard of his Minersville home on Second St. early Sunday afternoon when he heard his wife yelling from the front of the house.

Across the street, several homes were going up in flames. And there were two people trapped on the roof.

Six homes in all were damaged by fire and smoke on Sunday afternoon. The three-alarm fire in Minersville drew response from first responders across Schuylkill County.

Oscar Rivera Hailed as Hero for His Actions in Minersville Row Homes Fire

Adrenaline rushed through Rivera and he grabbed a ladder and scaled the burning homes, reaching an elderly man trapped in a window on the third floor of one of the homes.

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“I’m just focused on one thing,” Rivera tells The Canary. “Getting him out.”

Video captured by a friend shows Rivera on the third floor of the Minersville home across the street from his.

He struggles to pull the man from a third-floor window as thick black smoke billows from it.

On the roof next door, a woman clings to the edge for safety.

Rivera says he believes that woman was visiting the elderly man and had tried to pull him from the window but couldn’t.

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“I grabbed him and he said, ‘I can’t, I can’t, I can’t’ … he couldn’t walk,” Rivera says. “So, I just pulled him. He was telling me, ‘Please don’t leave me’ and I’m like, I’m not.”

Rivera stood on the roof of the burning building, pleading for help from firefighters who were just arriving on the scene.

Eventually, Rivera is able to grab hold of the man and pull him from the smoke and onto the roof. Firefighters are able to reach him with their own ladder to bring him to safety.

To escape the growing fire, Rivera then hops across several rooftops down Second St. until he reaches a home where he’s able to get into a window that was opened for him.

Oscar Rivera climbed to the third floor of a burning Minersville home on Sunday afternoon to pull an elderly man trapped inside to the roof. Photo submitted/Janeen Huth

A friend, Janeen Huth, who lives nearby and captured this harrowing scene on video said, “Today, he’s a hero, because if it wasn’t for him, they wouldn’t have gotten out on time.”

Here is video of Rivera’s dramatic rescue shared with The Canary by Huth. NOTE: The video contains some language that’s NSFW:

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Frank

    April 15, 2024 at 6:00 am

    Amazing!

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