Plain-clothed men fighting fire in viral video are firefighters

The two were on the scene when the first-due crew of only two firefighters arrived; they helped with the exterior attack until more firefighter arrived

EXETER, Pa. — Two men in street clothes who gained attention when a video showed them helping a fire crew extinguish an apartment fire were firefighters from a different department.

The Times Leader reported the first truck from the Exeter Fire Department arrived on the scene with only the driver and one other trained firefighter on board. Two men in street clothes were already at the scene and began assisting the firefighters until more crews arrived.

Exeter Fire Chief Donald Skursky said the two men were firefighters from a nearby department.

“(The men) grabbed a hose and started to extinguish the exterior fire,” Skursky said. “They were not members of the Exeter Fire Department. They were members of a surrounding company who just happened to be in the area.”

“I had to put my gear on and while that was happening, the two guys were beginning to fight the fire,” said Anthony John, one of the first volunteers to arrive on scene from the Exeter Fire Department. “I had to put my mask on and hood and, as soon as I did, I relieved the guys on the line.”

John said the quick efforts of the two men kept the fire contained. 

“It would have got inside,” said John. “It charred the outside and was getting in the walls. It was going up into the rafters. They did a fast knockdown and I thank them for that.”

The fire broke out around 4:30 p.m. in a shed attached to one of the buildings in an apartment complex. The fire spread to a vacant apartment and displaced four people. 

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