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Wheelchair-bound man rescued from house fire

Thomas Risich is in critical condition at Jefferson Hospital in Center City

On Thursday, March 16, at 11:46 p.m., the resident of 767 Kings Lane, Thomas Risich, 76, dialed 9-1-1 and reported a fire in his living room. He told dispatchers that he was wheelchair bound and that he was in the bathroom in the rear of the home and could not escape.

Bensalem Police, firefighters from Cornwells, Eddington, Nottingham, Union, Newport and Trevose fire companies, along with Bensalem EMS and Battalion Chief Rob Sponheimer, responded to the scene.

Upon arrival, there was fire and heavy smoke coming from the residence. Firefighters made entry to the home through the rear bathroom window and found Risich unresponsive on the bathroom floor under the window. He was removed from the home through the window, where his care was turned over to paramedics from Bensalem EMS.

He was transported to Jefferson Torresdale Hospital by ambulance, then airlifted to Jefferson Hospital in Center City, where he is listed in critical condition.

Once the fire was extinguished, Sponheimer conducted an investigation into the cause of the fire. His preliminary findings are that the fire was accidental and was most likely caused by a faulty space heater in the living room. The investigation is ongoing and the house has been deemed uninhabitable.

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