A tragic fire on Saturday could have been much worse if not for some quick-thinking neighbors.

On Saturday, November 26th at around 4 a.m. Ulster County 911 received a call from a resident who reported that a fire had started at a residence located at 97 First Avenue and that people were trapped inside the house. 911 dispatched the Kingston Fire Department to the scene and upon arrival, they encountered heavy fire on the first and second floors of a two-and-a-half-story single-family structure according to the KFD Facebook page.

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Kingston Fire

As firefighters fought the fire they learned that a total of 6 occupants were in the house and that 5 of them have made it out safely leaving one unaccounted for. The fire was so big that fire personnel couldn't enter the house through the doors and had to enter through a second-floor window. Once inside they searched to try and find the trapped person and within minutes located them and removed the victim through a window.

The victim was transported to a local hospital and then flown by helicopter to the Westchester Medical Center for burn injuries. The victim 77-year-old David Beesmer, unfortunately, passed away from his injuries according to the Daily Freeman.

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The other occupants were transported to the Health Alliance Broadway Campus for various injuries.

Kingston Hero Neighbors

KFD reported after the fire that because of the quick thinking and actions of neighbors that live across the street from the house things weren't much much worse. The neighbors, Patrick Burke Jr. and his wife Megan were sleeping the morning of the fire and when Patrick awoke around 4:10 a.m. to use the bathroom he noticed what looked like a small fire on the porch of the house across the street.

He told the Daily Freeman,

"I went back to the couch and seen like a glowing outside, like the sun coming up, and knew it was not normal. I just looked out my window and saw the front porch on fire. … Threw my pants and sneakers on and at that point my wife (Megan) had already run out the front door and ran on over there."

Once outside the house, KFD said that Burke "knocked and pounded on the windows and eventually the rear door of the house waking his neighbors." His actions awoke the occupants inside the house where 3 of them were able to leave through doors and an adult male was able to hang out a second-story window in the rear of the house and drop a child off to Burke who was able to catch the child. The male then hung out the window himself and dropped down to safety.

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Kingston officials held a press conference in the driveway of the Burkes home on Wednesday, with all saying that the Burke family are heroes for their actions.

Kingston Mayor Steve Noble praised KFD for the quick response,

"But without the neighbors and their quick response, we already had a tragedy here but we would have had a bigger tragedy without the Burke family risking their own lives."

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