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Lansford police officer commended for rescuing woman from recent fire

  • RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS Lansford part-time police officer Tom Fort, second from left, receives letter of commedation from Chief of Police John Turkmanovich, left, during meeting of Lansford Borough Council last night. Looking on are Ron Hood, second…
    RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS Lansford part-time police officer Tom Fort, second from left, receives letter of commedation from Chief of Police John Turkmanovich, left, during meeting of Lansford Borough Council last night. Looking on are Ron Hood, second from right, chairman of the public safety committee of Lansford Borough Council, and Mayor Joseph Horvat.
Published October 15. 2009 05:00PM

Tom Fort, Lansford's newest part-time police officer, was presented with a commendation letter during last night's meeting of Lansford Borough Council.

He was presented with the letter by Chief of Police John Turcmanovich, who explained that Fort may have saved the life of a 93-year-old woman during a house fire last Saturday.

The police chief said Fort responded to a fire call and upon arriving, saw a house was filled with smoke. "He broke down a door to get into the house, and crawled through the smoke," said the police chief.

Then Fort carried the woman out of the smoke-filled house and remained with her until an ambulance arrived.

Fort received applause from the council.

He attended the meeting with his fiancee, Lisa Eisenberg.

For Fort, it is the second time in his young career that he helped rescue people from a burning house.

"I did the same thing on Rowe Street in Tamaqua in 2006," he said, noting that at the time he worked for the Tamaqua Police Department.

"Me and another police officer went into the building in Tamaqua and helped get people out," he said.

Fort no longer works for the Tamaqua P.D.

In fact, the young policeman said he got a little nervous when he was approached by Turcmanovich and asked to attend last night's council meeting.

He figured he might be in trouble, just as he was in Tamaqua after the heroic incident.

Fort explained that in Tamaqua, he was reprimanded for letting his cruiser run and be unattended, even though he was hurrying to get residents from the burning house.

"I thought I was doing a good thing," he said. Instead, the mayor of Tamaqua reprimanded him for not shutting off his car.

In addition, Fort wasn't scheduled to work any more after that incident.

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