McDonald woman, children, boyfriend forced out of burning duplex

Amber Coleman, in gray sweatshirt, looks Wednesday morning at what remains of the steps and porch of her home.

McDonald woman, children, boyfriend forced out of burning duplex

A man on his way to a gym to work out early Wednesday alerted residents of a McDonald duplex it was on fire after spotting flames shooting out near the rear entrance.

Amber Coleman, her two daughters, ages 3 and 6, and her boyfriend had to climb onto a porch roof of the duplex at 110 North St. to escape the flames. A neighbor put a ladder up to the roof to rescue them. The children were off the roof when McDonald firefighters arrived to rescue the adults.

Bernie Dhanse, identified as the owner of the duplex by McDonald police, was able to escape from his first-floor apartment.

“I woke up and some guy was pounding on the side of the house,” Coleman said. “The stairs in the back were the only entrance to the apartment. All I could see in the back were smoke and flames.

“I just had knee surgery,” she added. “I didn’t have time to grab anything.”

McDonald fire Chief Terry Kerr said because of limited manpower, firefighters focused on getting the residents to safety before battling the flames.

Firefighters arrived at the scene minutes after getting the call just after 6 a.m.

Kerr said a state police fire marshal will investigate.

“I believe it started on the back porch,” Kerr said. “We were able to contain the damage to the porch area and kitchen.”

Firefighters were able to quickly put out the fire, but it was intense enough to melt the siding of a neighboring duplex on Grant Street.

Assisting at the scene were firefighters from Mt. Pleasant Township (Hickory), Midway, Cecil Township (No.3) and Sturgeon. No injuries were reported.

Source: By Kathie Warco, Nov 29, 2017 Updated Nov 29, 2017