MALONE — A man hanging out a second-story window at 3 Morton St. was saved from flames by two Malone Village Police officers as the apartment house burned around him.
When Officers Nicholas Hebert and Nathan Preve arrived at the 3 p.m. blaze, they spotted Scott Betters dangling from a smashed-out window as smoke erupted from the fiery building.
“I went in through a porch and was able to climb out on a roof right near the window, and Officer Hebert came in shortly after I did, so I grabbed onto the male and held him from falling completely out of the window, and Officer Hebert held on to me so I didn’t fall off the roof,” Preve recounted.
As the dramatic rescue unfolded, off-duty Village Officer Brian Miller and a local firefighter rushed to their aid with ladders and climbed up to help Preve pull Betters from the inferno.
“They were able to bring him down the ladders,” Preve said between coughs as firefighters continued to battle the flames.
Betters appeared to have suffered burns and lacerations in the blaze and was taken to Alice Hyde Medical Center in Malone for treatment.
The two-story, 3,400-square-foot home, owned by Hugh McCann of Malone, housed four apartments. It is situated at the corner of Morton Street and Route 11 (Main Street), across from Flanders Elementary School.
Amanda Miller and her two sons, Bentley and Landon Boyea, lived in the west-facing apartment upstairs, and Red Pecore and his two sons, Travis and Joey Pecore, lived in the lower apartment facing west, according to neighbors, friends and relatives gathered at the fire.
A woman identified only as Lucy and her son lived in the bottom rear apartment, and Betters apparently lived in the upper rear apartment, where the fire got its start, witnesses said.