PAULSBORO, N.J. (WTXF) - The mayor of Paulsboro was on his way to Trenton for Gov. Chris Christie’s state of the state address and some meetings. Instead, Gary Stevenson ended up helping save a life during a fire that destroyed a house.
SKYFOX was over the scene on the 100 block of W. Broad Street, at about 9:30am Tuesday.
Mayor Stevenson -- who was fire chief for 12 years -- told FOX 29 News he saw white smoke and it started getting blacker, and he noticed flames as he got closer.
The mayor said he stopped at the house and the doors were locked so he started banging.
That’s when someone came up and said he thought a girl may be inside, but apparently his banging woke her up.
Stevenson was able to get her out. Then, he and a few other people checked to make sure nobody else was inside before the place became engulfed.
He said fire crews came quickly but it made him realize how long it seems to take for people at an actual fire scene.
SKYFOX caught the flames coming from the roof as emergency crews worked to get the fire under control. The mayor thanked them for their hard work in frigid conditions.
The home may be a total loss but nobody was injured. The mayor explained belongings can be replaced but people can’t, and that it appears this home’s smoke detector was not working.
While the cause of this fire is under investigation, Stevenson warned about portable heating devices.
He said to avoid them -- whether electric or kerosene -- because they can be knocked over, and not to use a stove for heat, either.