Crews responded to a house fire in Ravena Thursday morning.
Firefighters say it all the time, have a plan in place, and this right here is a prime example of how it could save your life.
There was a set of stairs on the side of the three-family home lead to the second-floor apartment. Those stairs went up in flames and burned to the ground, leaving a mother and son who live up there with no way out.
The flames broke out at 211 Main Street around 3 a.m. The home is a landmark in the Village of Ravena.
“It was called the Old Bakers Inn and was built back in 1770. It was the oldest house in Ravena,” Tim Golgoski, the homeowner, said. “George Washington and his troops stayed here.”
Golgoski says he was woken up by his girlfriend screaming for help telling him their house was on fire. His sister lives in the attached apartment and he has two tenants upstairs, so he sprang into action.
“I busted the window out got in and her out. I then went around back with the ladder to try to bust the windows out and I saw they were out and they used that ladder.”
The mother and son trapped on the second floor remembered they had this emergency fire escape ladder.
He says that ladder saved their lives.
Firefighters on scene said they never saw something like that.
“I started crying when I saw that.”
“In 50 years of fire experience, that’s the first time I’ve ever seen an escape ladder used,” Bill Bailey, Ravena Volunteer Safety Officer, said.
“My buddy Bruce Onyon, thank you for that ladder. He gave me that ladder nine years ago when I bought the house. He goes Tim you need this and I put it upstairs,” Golgoski said.
The mother and son were able to climb down but their dog was still inside. They thought they’d lost him in the fire but about 2 hours later, they found him.
“My partner and I Adam were upstairs fighting hot spots looking for any fire that was still up there,” Erik Wullum, of the Ravena Volunteer Fire Department, said. We were in the one room and I was talking to him about the ceiling and my flashlight I caught a glimpse of some eyes in the back bathroom and I said, ‘Hey Adam, I think the dogs back there!’”
“I’m like I don’t want him to run and go hide again. I don’t want him to get hurt so I just picked him up out of instinct,” Brandon Hardy, of the Ravena Volunteer Fire Department, said.
“For the amount of smoke that was banked down, you could tell from the black char marks on the wall that there was a lot of smoke that filled the bathroom,” Wullum said. “For him to just be up there standing around is pretty amazing.”
While this historic home is likely a total loss, the most important thing is, everyone was able to get out alive.