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Belington, Bridgeport fire chief among those injured in weekend blaze

BELINGTON, W.Va. — Phil Hart, the fire chief with both the Belington Volunteer Fire Department and the Bridgeport Fire Department, is recovering from injuries suffered while battling a house fire in Belington Saturday evening.

Belington VFD Deputy Chief  and Hart’s brother, Mike Hart said the call came in around 5:30 p.m. as a fundraiser at the firehouse was wrapping up. Hart said firefighters were on the scene in less than three minutes and were immediately informed of a possible entrapment. A woman who lived there was inside the burning house.

Hart said flames were venting from the front windows of the home on Talbott Road, about three blocks from the fire station, as Chief Hart entered through the front door. Mike Hart said there is video of the response.

“In the video, you can actually see my brother running into the house,” Hart said. “No protective equipment, no SCBA—nothing on.”

Another firefighter with protective equipment entered the home and helped Hart get the woman out of the house. She was flown from the scene and remains hospitalized.

Mike Hart said the quick response time was key to saving the woman’s life.

“If it would have been a normal Saturday afternoon, everybody would have had to respond from home, and that would have slowed the response down by two, maybe three minutes than what it actually turned out being, and that could have made a major difference in her condition,” he said.

Hart said his brother, Phil, is expected to recover and could be released from the hospital soon.

A second firefighter was treated and released.

“In the course of getting her outside, one of the other gentlemen had an issue with his facepiece and got a lot of smoke so he was the first fireman to be transported by ground to Elkins,” Mike Hart said Monday.

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