Passerby saves girl, firefighters rescue mother from house fire

By Joan Hunt - ReminderNews Managing Editor
Somers - posted Fri., Dec. 6, 2013
- Contributed Photo

Somers Deputy Fire Chief Frank Falcone applauded the excellent timing on the part of personnel in his fire house, assistance from area fire departments and the actions of a person passing by the fire at 61 Main St., on Dec. 4, for its positive resolution. “Sometimes things come together and come out well,” said Falcone. “With a couple of differences, we could have had two fatalities.”

It took about 45 minutes to put the fire out, according to Falcone, who was the officer in charge of the 8 a.m. blaze that he said caused heavy fire damage to a back bedroom in addition to heat and smoke damage to the rest of the second- floor apartment.

When Falcone arrived at the scene, he exchanged words with a man who had already rescued 7-year-old Kerra Colgan from the burning building and was taking her to an ambulance that had just pulled up. “He said he made entry and crawled low under the smoke as he called out to see if anyone was there,” said Falcone. “He said to grab his hand, which the little girl did, and he pulled her out.” The hero, who has asked to remain anonymous, was reported by another news service to be a resident of neighboring Stafford Springs.

The girl’s mother, 33-year-old Katie Colgan, was semi-conscious in another bedroom. Falcone said that career firefighters from Somers and Hazardville fire departments were able to get her safely out of the house.

Both patients were originally taken by ambulance to Bay State Medical Center in Springfield, Mass., but were later transported to Boston hospitals. Falcone said on Dec. 5 that the mother had been suffering from smoke inhalation and was expected to be released that day, but that her daughter would probably spend a few more days at the Shriners Hospital for Children, where she was presumably being treated for burns.

Falcone said that Hazardville, Shaker Pines, Enfield and Ellington fire departments helped out with the two alarm fire, while Crystal Lake Fire Department covered the Somers fire house. Emergency ambulance service came from Manchester and Enfield companies. He said the fire was contained to the second-floor apartment, which is untenable, but tenants have been allowed to re-enter the other three apartments in the building.

There was only one other person in a downstairs apartment of the building at the time of the fire, and that person safely evacuated the apartment.

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