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Mass. cop rescues man from building blaze

Officer carried the man down the stairs to the first-floor stairwell

By Paul Tennant
The Eagle-Tribune

LAWRENCE, Mass.  Acting police Chief James Fitzpatrick described veteran Officer Carl Farrington as a "very good-sized guy."

Farrington's strength probably saved the life of an unidentified 53-year-old man he rescued from a fire at 14 Worswick Terrace, in the Tower Hill section, last night. The fire, reported at 8:13 p.m., started in a second-floor bedroom, according to fire Deputy Chief John McInnis.

The victim's father, an 89-year-old World War II veteran, was able to drag the man out of the bedroom. That's when Farrington, a 12-year veteran of the Police Department, took over.

He carried the man down the stairs to the first-floor stairwell, McInnis said. Then Farrington, Fire Capt. John Meany and firefighter

Manny Gutierrez brought him to a safe area outside the house, where firefighters administered oxygen, he said.

Farrington carried the victim, who may weigh as much as 300 pounds, on his shoulders, Fitzpatrick said.

"By his heroic actions, he potentially saved this man's life," Fitzpatrick said.

Both Farrington and the victim were transported to Lawrence General Hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation. The victim was in "very serious condition" last night, Fitzpatrick said.

"Hopefully he makes it," he added.

As for Farrington, "He should be OK," the chief said.

Firefighters contained the fire to the bedroom and had it knocked down within 20 minutes, McInnis said. He estimated the blaze may have done as much as $100,000 damage to the single-family house.

The victim's father will be staying with relatives, he said.

"It's too bad," McInnis said, noting the 89-year-old man has lived in the house for about 60 years.

Nearly every apparatus was sent to the fire: Engines 5, 6 and 7; Ladders 4 and 5; and Rescue 1, McInnis said. The scene was cleared at 9:12 p.m. and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Copyright 2014 The Eagle-Tribune

McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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