Former Pa. county emergency squad chief injured in house fire

A fundraiser has been set up for former chief, who is being treated at the hospital for first-degree burns

Christopher Dornblaser
Bucks County Courier Times, Levittown, Pa.

BUCKS COUNTY, Pa. — The former Penndel-Middletown Emergency Squad chief suffered first-degree burns when a fire damaged his home in Middletown over the weekend, according to officials.

Current squad chief Andy Foley said past chief and current trustee Hugh Cooperman was injured when his home in the 800 block of Upland Road caught fire about 6:30 a.m. Saturday.

"He suffered first-degree burns and he is being treated at Jefferson University Hospital in Center City," Foley said Monday.

Township Fire Marshal Jim Maguire said crews responded to the two-story home and found fire in the back room of the home.

"So they had fire presenting out of the rear windows of the house," he said.

Firefighters contained the blaze to the back room, however the home still sustained smoke and soot damage throughout, he said. Maguire did not have a damage estimate Tuesday.

He said crews had the fire under control quickly.



Posted by Penndel Volunteer Fire Company #1, Station 8 on Saturday, November 30, 2019

"We are still in the process of determining a cause," Maguire said Tuesday afternoon. He said it did not appear suspicious.

Cooperman was investigating the cause of the fire in the home when he heard a "pop," and was burned, according to Maguire.

Maguire said a child, who Foley identified as Cooperman's granddaughter, was taken to St. Mary Medical Center for an evaluation, but was released shortly after.

The Coopermans were watching their granddaughter when Cooperman was awoken by the smoke alarm, Foley said.

Cooperman was taken to St. Mary's as well before he being transferred to Jefferson University Hospital, according to Maguire.

Foley said Cooperman is still a member of the emergency squad. He last served as chief in 2016.

"He's been a very long time member of the squad," Foley said.

In addition to being with the emergency squad, Cooperman was also an active member of the South Central Emergency Response Team, according to Foley.

He also played Santa for the Penndel Fire Co.'s yearly Christmas Eve run, according to the fire company.

Middletown emergency service officials are going to meet Wednesday night to come up with potential fundraising for Cooperman and his family, according to Foley.

He said the Coopermans retrieved some valuables from their home from the fire, but most of their possessions are gone.

"When somebody has a disaster like this... we all pull together to make sure they're taken care of," he said.

Foley said it may take some time to put together, but they would like to host a fundraising event for the family.

"Pretty much everybody in Middletown is going to be working on the fundraising efforts," he said.

Cooperman's brother set up a GoFundMe page for the family, which can be found on the site.


©2019 Bucks County Courier Times, Levittown, Pa.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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