Roots of heroism: Sposato landscapers honored for quick response to house fire

GEORGETOWN – Landscapers who swung into heroic action during an early February house fire were honored at the March 14 Georgetown town council meeting.

Certificates of appreciation presented by Georgetown Mayor Bill West recognized the quick actions of Sposato Landscape Company employees in response to a Feb. 7 house fire in Georgetown’s Cinderberry neighborhood that claimed one life and left another person with severe burns.

Town of Georgetown Mayor Bill West honors Sposato Landscape Company employees Joel Rivera, left, and Mason Alexander, right, for their bravery and quick response to a house fire in Georgetown in February.

“Many people in this town will never forget what you’ve done,” said Mayor West. “Your quick thinking and response probably saved a life and prevented extensive property damage. The whole community will not forget your selflessness and acts of heroism. When you saw smoke coming from a garage and heard a voice call out for help, you reacted quickly and unselfishly.”

Sposato employees Mason Alexander, Joel Rivera, Daniel Branham and Felipe Velasquez, who were edging flower beds in the neighborhood, heard one of the burn victims call for help and sprang into action.

Two of them entered the burning house with fire extinguishers and attempted to put out the fire. They also assisted the two burn victims.

One burn victim, an 84-year-old woman, died the next day at the Crozer Burn Center near Philadelphia, according to Assistant State Fire Marshal Michael Chionchio. A 54-year-old man was admitted to Crozer Burn Center in critical condition, Mr. Chionchio said. That burn victim is still recovering.

The crew called 911 and directed the first responders to the scene. They also moved their vehicles out of the way to allow emergency vehicles access to the fire and burn victims, said Sposato Landscape Company safety director Jack Hoban.

“I just wanted to say that you men are heroes,” said Cinderberry resident Barbara Holston. “When I saw the house burning there was smoke pouring out. If it wasn’t for you guys that house would have burned to the ground and may have spread to other houses.”

During the tributes at the March 14 meeting, Mayor West said Cinderberry representatives presented the honored the employees with gift cards “for their heroism for trying to save the man and the lady.”

Members of the Georgetown Police Department also attended and recognized Sposato’s employees “for being involved in the community.”

“We’re very proud of our people,” said owner Tony Sposato. “We train our people on safety and anticipating emergencies. Part of their daily safety check is making sure they have a charged fire extinguisher on board in case a fire occurs on their vehicle. I’m glad they were in a position to help.”

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