2 firefighters fell through floor while fighting massive Homestead blaze

Mayday calls could be heard on dispatch radio calls, as crews realized two firefighters could have been seriously hurt while fighting a massive fire in several Homestead row houses.

We’ve learned that two Munhall firefighters fell through the first floor while fighting the flames.

PHOTOS: Smoke fills air while crews work to put out 5-alarm fire in Homestead

Neil Hartnett was the first firefighter to fall through the floor. Hartnett also works as a special assistant to Lt. Gov. Austin Davis.

While trying to rescue Hartnett, one of the Munhall chiefs also fell through the floor. Both had burns and bruises, but are going to be OK.

>> 5 firefighters hurt while battling 5-alarm fire in Homestead

A Homestead firefighter also hurt his arm trying to help Hartnett and the chief.

In addition to the chaos of the firefighters getting hurt, the Homestead fire chief told me that water wasn’t pumping from the closest fire hydrant, meaning they had to search for water

While Channel 11 was there Monday, crews from Penn American Water were working on the hydrant.

A spokesperson said the hydrants were inspected in the last six months, and they’re working with the fire department to investigate what went wrong.

“I’m very grateful, and very appreciative of everything they do and do every day,” Robin Mercuri told Channel 11.

Mercuri lives in Homestead and heard about the fire as it was happening.

“I knew the conditions of the weather were going to be very trying for them. We prayed, for good outcomes,” she said.

Lt. Gov. Austin Davis sent this statement about Hartnett and the other firefighters:

“We’re proud of Neil and his selfless service to the people of Pennsylvania. We’re glad he is home and recovering, and he and his family are grateful for the outpouring of support for him and the other firefighters involved. The firefighters who were injured, the guys who aided them in getting out of harm’s way and all of our emergency responders truly represent the best of Pennsylvania.”

Download the FREE WPXI News app for breaking news alerts.

Follow Channel 11 News on Facebook and Twitter. | Watch WPXI NOW


The Doobie Brothers making tour stop at Star Lake Woman suing Kennywood Park, says cheese from Potato Patch fries gave her second-degree burn Hundreds of cars displayed at annual World of Wheels car show VIDEO:Video shows fight break out in Coraopolis bar before deadly shooting DOWNLOAD the Channel 11 News app for breaking news alerts