Firefighters battle 2-alarmer in Reading

Boy, 7, called hero for alerting others to fire in home

Posted: 8:00 PM EDT Jun 05, 2013   Updated: 11:37 AM EDT Jun 06, 2013
Tarrin Dugan

A burn victim is recovering after a fire destroyed a home in Reading.

The man was watching a 7-year-old boy when that fire broke out inside 630 Schuylkill Ave. just before 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, and family members are calling the boy a hero.

The fire quickly made its way through the row home with three people inside.

"I just, just pulled up and I'm like, 'That's one of the neighbors,' and then I looked and I'm like, 'No! That's our house," said Peter Dugan, who was coming home from work.

The home was engulfed in flames and heavy smoke. Dugan said he saw Ben Martinez, his son's babysitter, sitting across the street with a burn to his hand.

"My first concern are all the kids out," said Dugan.

Seven-year-old Tarin Dugan was more than alright.

"He was awesome. He's the hero," said Peter Dugan. "He made sure everybody was aware of it and was out of the house. He's the hero."

The Dugans said the fire that left everything covered with black soot was caused by a fan.

"He yelled that there was a fire in the fan," said Dugan. "And everybody, next thing you know the house is full with smoke and everybody was out due to him. If it wasn't him there would probably been a fatal."

Firefighters said when they first arrived there was heavy fire on the first floor.

"When they got here there were also reports of people still inside," said Deputy Chief Stephen Serba, Reading Fire Dept.

Tarrin, his babysitter and his grandmother all made it out.

"Everybody is out, everybody is safe," said Dugan. "I'm just so glad that he was the one that was home. He was close enough to see it, realize and notify everybody and get out himself."

There were three people inside the home at the time of the fire, but 15 have been displaced.

The Red Cross is helping them because they didn't have insurance.

Firefighters said the fire is still under investigation.