Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Pottsville Police Officer Saves Child from Burning Home; Four Injured

A child was saved by a Pottsville Police Officer early Tuesday morning from a fire on West Arch Street.

The fire broke out just after 3:00am in the West Arch Street Housing Development at 1108 West Arch Street, with initials reports that there was entrapment.

When police arrived on scene, they found a mother, Betty Spiess, 32, with two of her children, 6 and 5 years old, outside the home.  Spiess told PoliceOfficer Michael Hrebik that her 11-year-old daughter was on the second floor near the window.

Officer Hrebik jumped into action and used a nearby table and chair to get a higher position for the 11-year-old to jump to safety into his arms.

Hrebik is being praised as a hero.

The Pottsville Fire Department arrived on scene and had the fire under control within 15 minutes and contained most of the damage to the second floor of the home.

Spiess and all three children were transported to a local hospital for their injuries.  Spiess and the 11-year-old were flown to Lehigh Valley Cedar Crest for burns.

As of Tuesday, the American Red Cross was assisting the occupant of a neighboring home.

Responding to the scene to fight the fire were the Pottsville Fire Department and Minersville Fire Department along with the Schuylkill Haven RIT.  Schuylkill EMS was also on scene.

The cause of the fire was under investigation and is believed to have started on the second floor of the home.