SOUTH HEIDELBERG TWP., Pa. - A volunteer firefighter with Western Berks is thanking his fellow firefighters and praising his training after he partially fell through the floor of a burning home over the weekend.
It's a call no firefighter wants to make or have to hear over their radio. The call of a mayday.
For 20-year-old volunteer firefighter Nathan Griffith, he says it happened on a call he won't soon forget.
"Pretty crazy. This probably the biggest fire I've been involved in at one of our calls," recalled Volunteer Firefighter, Nathan Griffith.
Griffith was the first one in a burning home on Texter Mountain Road in South Heidelberg Township, in the early hours of Sunday morning, as flames and smoke billowed up from the basement.
"We located the fire room and we were met with a lot of fire in this room. We made a good knock on the fire originally and then we started to move into the fire room," said Griffith.
That's when Griffith partially fell through a hole in the floor. The fire raged underneath.
"Initially i'm thinking I fell. The guy next to me who was behind me when we went into the room saw that I fell. He started communicating and asked me if I could get up. I couldn't. I initiated my mayday," said Griffith.
The firefighter have equipment with an emergency button that does multiple things including sending out a call sign associated with the firefighter wearing it. The call will go out to the dispatch center and alert other firefighters in the area of the mayday call.
"Right after that, some other guys from the hallway came in and pulled me out of the hole," recalled Griffith.
Griffith went to the hospital for evaluation but did not have any major injuries.
Investigators say the fire was started by an electrical problem in the basement, and it's been ruled an accident.
"Everybody in that room not only myself," said Grifftih. "Nobody hesitated to help get me out. It falls back on that. We train for this stuff."