Great Bend man escapes fire: it was ‘just a wall of flames’

Updated: Apr. 16, 2021 at 10:42 PM EDT
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GREAT BEND, N.Y. (WWNY) - A Great Bend man managed to escape fire Friday morning by diving out his bedroom window, but lost his home and possessions.

Firefighters rescued Eric Hubbard’s two puppies.

“I expected that my dogs were already dead,” Hubbard told 7 News photojournalist Kris Hudson Friday afternoon.

“And the fact that they (firefighters) even got that little bit of hope back into my life means more than anything.”

“I can’t thank them enough.”

The dogs were found in a tub.

Fire broke out around 8 AM. Hubbard woke up coughing and with smoke stinging his eyes. He called 9-1-1 and “opened my bedroom door and just a wall of flames was right in front of me.

“All the clothes that were in the clothes basket right in front of my bedroom door were all on fire.”

Hubbard got out a bedroom window and then started breaking other windows in the trailer home on Jackson II Road, hoping his animals would find their way out.

A cat and snake died in the fire.

In all, volunteers from six departments fought the fire, said Great Bend chief Mark Pomerville. Pomerville estimated it took about 40 minutes get the fire under control, start to finish .

“They got in, got the dogs out, got it (the fire) knocked down,” he said.

Pomerville said heavy fire was coming from the front of the trailer when firefighters first arrived, and the cause is under investigation. Family members believe it’s possible the dogs accidentally started a fire on the stove, which caused whatever was on top of the stove to catch fire.

There were no smoker detectors in the home, the chief said.

Hubbard and his girlfriend lost everything in the fire, and anyone who can help with donations is asked to call 315-493-3619.

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