04/15/09 — Firefighter rescues man from fire

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Firefighter rescues man from fire

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on April 15, 2009 1:46 PM

A Goldsboro Fire Department captain rescued a man who re-entered a burning home to try to save his dog, authorities said.

Engine 2 Capt. Rob Lorman entered a burning trailer at 3716 Commercial Drive after learning from neighbors that Raymond Hooker had gone back inside, Assistant Chief Eric Lancaster said.

"Once we got to the scene, we did have a working trailer fire, and the neighbors were telling us that the gentleman who stayed there, he had exited the structure but he had went back in," the assistant chief said.

When Lorman was making a walk-around of the structure, he said he saw someone inside.

The smoke was so thick that the captain could only make out a portion of Hooker's body, the assistant chief said.

"The only thing he could see was a pair of leg inside the trailer," Lancaster said. "He (Lorman) went inside a little ways, and was able to pull him to safety."

Once Hooker was outside the building a Wayne County ambulance took him to Wayne Memorial Hospital. A hospital spokesperson did not immediately return a call inquiring about Hooker's condition this morning. The assistant chief said he believed Hooker would survive because he was able to talk with firefighters.

The assistant chief also said the dog inside the home lived, but was very frightened and ran from the scene.

"Once we were able to rescue him, the dog got out," Lancaster said. "The dog ran off -- we didn't ever see him again that night. If we had, we would have secured him for the owner."

Lancaster said neighbors in the Commercial Drive area of Goldsboro should be on the lookout for a stray dog, but he did not have a description of the canine.

It took about 10 to 15 minutes to extinguish the blaze.

The value of the home and its contents were estimated at $14,000, and $12,000 of that property was destroyed, Lancaster said.

Early investigation into the cause of the fire indicated that Hooker was smoking tobacco too near a tank that supplies him with breathable oxygen, the assistant chief said.

Mr. Hooker was listed in fair to good condition this morning.

Lancaster said he is aware that people love their pets, but reminds the public they should never re-enter a burning structure.

"That's something we try to stress to people, no matter if there's a pet inside or what, do not go back inside (a burning structure)," the assistant chief said.