Heroes growing on trees in Dot?

It could be the high population of firefighters living in the neighborhood, spreading their bravery like osmosis, or maybe just a local sensitivity to smoke in the air, but here’s another story of neighbors helping out in times of conflagration.

At around 7 p.m. on Sunday, Therese Clougherty called in a fire at 5 Whitten St. after her boyfriend spotted smoke while outside having a cigarette. As she dialed 9-1-1 on her cell phone, Clougherty said, she spotted someone in trouble.

“I look and there’s a lady hanging out of the second floor window with smoke all around her,” Clougherty said.

Dispatching her boyfriend Jimmy to get a ladder, Clougherty ran over to the house and kicked in a window on the first floor, which luckily turned out to be plexi-glass.
“Thank God it was plexiglass, because it didn’t shatter. And then this little boy runs out. He was about eight,” she said.

After Jimmy helped the woman upstairs down the ladder and firefighters arrived, Clougherty said, the two lifesavers stepped aside and let the professionals go to work. One firefighter nodded in recognition when she related what she had done, but she never caught the name of the woman nor the child.

According to Steve MacDonald, spokesman for the fire department, a woman and three children were hauled from the scene to local hospitals to be treated for smoke inhalation. The two-alarm fire caused some $225,000 in damage after a short circuit in a light fixture in the second floor ceiling. Three households were displaced by the blaze, including five adults and four younger ones.