Two New York State troopers saved an elderly Town of Orleans couple early Tuesday after their home caught fire.
Troopers Scott Whitmore and Nichole Turck were on patrol and saw flames coming from the county route 13 home of Richard Kennel and his wife.
"There could have been some serious injuries," said LaFargeville assistant fire chief David Gosier.
According to state police, the troopers first got Richard Kennel, 85, out of the house. He told them his wife Phyllis, 85, who needed a walker to get around, was still inside, so the two troopers - along with a passer-by - went back in and carried her out.
"Hats off to them, they did a fantastic job getting those people safe," Gosier said.
The job of the volunteer firefighters was made harder by oxygen tanks in the house.
At one point, two of the tanks near the kitchen door exploded, knocking down two firefighters outside.
The fire, which was first reported just after 1 a.m., levelled the family's home, the large barn on the property and three smaller buildings. The troopers reported the fire spread from the barn to the house.
There was nothing left for the Kennels, said Gosier. "All they had was what they were wearing."
The couple was checked at River Hospital, and is reportedly staying with a daughter in Watertown.
The cause of the fire is unknown and will likely stay that way, Gosier said, because there's not enough left for investigators to work with.
Thursday, August 27, 2015, Watertown, NY
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