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Neighbor's quick action saves Summit Hill home

  • RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS Heavy damage is obvious to the rear porch and some siding at the home of David Miller, 301 Pine St., Summit Hill, where fire occurred from a gas grill on Sunday night. A neighbor, Jack Reiber, fought the fire with a garden hose…
    RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS Heavy damage is obvious to the rear porch and some siding at the home of David Miller, 301 Pine St., Summit Hill, where fire occurred from a gas grill on Sunday night. A neighbor, Jack Reiber, fought the fire with a garden hose until firefighters arrived and was able to help contain the fire. On the porch is Lansford Fire Department Captain Scott Raabe.
Published July 06. 2010 05:00PM

A Summit Hill man is convinced that if his neighbor wouldn't have gotten involved, his house might have been severely damaged by fire.

Instead, the flames were contained to a rear deck, exterior siding in the vicinity of the deck, and a small roof area. There is also smoke damage in the house.

The incident happened shortly after 8 p.m. Sunday at the David Miller residence, 301 Pine St., Summit Hill.

Miller was grilling on the rear deck when for some unknown reason, a flare-up ignited the deck.

"It went up that quick," said Miller, indicating the rapidity of the blaze. "It caught the back porch."

The neighbor, Jack Reiber, was doing yard work when he saw the burning porch. He quickly grabbed his garden hose and dragged it through his yard to the Miller property and proceeded to extinguish the flames.

Meanwhile, the call was placed to the Carbon County Communications Center and the Summit Hill and Lansford Fire Departments were dispatched.

Miller praised the quick response of the fire department and the professionalism of the volunteers, noting they quickly extinguished the fire.

Although the work of the fire department was commended, Miller had especially kind words for Reiber.

"He had it knocked down with the garden hose," said Miller, noting the fire was just about extinguished when firefighters reached the scene.

Reiber said he wasn't able to extinguish the gas tank on the grill and there was a section of roof still burning when firefighters came.

He said he received some training in firefighting a number of years ago when he had worked at Bethlehem Steel, but that it was just his obligation to help someone that pressed him into action.

"It was just the neighborly thing to do," said Reiber humbly.

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