Police & Fire

South Plainfield Residents Hailed as Heroes for Rescuing Neighbor

7b93b220adf5b3525318_88c7a27cfc90215aa3f4_fire2.jpg
Usama "Sammy" Ghanem
ef2e5f5f0b555f02fe31_8c769678122cd38d3cf5_fire1.jpg
7b93b220adf5b3525318_88c7a27cfc90215aa3f4_fire2.jpg

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Lifelong South Plainfield resident Usama ‘Sammy’ Ghanem, Jr., 29, and his sister Crystal, 28, are being hailed local heroes for their quick thinking efforts to rescue a Harrison Avenue neighbor from her burning home Sunday night.

South Plainfield Fire units were dispatched to the 500 block area of Harrison Avenue at approximately 11:15 p.m. Feb. 28. Upon arriving at the scene, firefighters found the home’s lone occupant lying on the front lawn, having been rescued by neighbors who were able to gain entry to the home and remove her from the burning home.

According to Sammy, his sister was in bed the evening of the fire when, around 11 p.m. she heard a loud explosion. “She looked out her bedroom window and saw flames and smoke coming out of the home directly across the street,” Sammy said, noting that the loud noise Crystal heard was the sound of the home’s window glass breaking.

Sign Up for E-News

Crystal ran to the house but was unable to get in and began screaming for her brother to come help. Running outside barefoot, Sammy said he first attempted to rescue the home’s lone occupant by kicking in the front door. When heavy smoke and flames forced him back, Sammy headed to side door where, after gaining entry, he found the victim on her kitchen floor, just shy of the door, half conscious with the telephone in her hand.

“It looked like she was trying to make her way out but collapsed before she could open the door,” said Sammy, who is friends with the victim’s son. “She was barely breathing and couldn't stand on her own. Hers arms were also badly burned.”

Sammy said he mustered all his strength, lifted her up and carried her outside. “Her next door neighbor Rose [Gemmell] came over as I was carrying her outside,” he said. “I laid her down and Rose attempted to do CPR. We heard her mumble and saw that she was breathing.”

It was at this time that police arrived followed by the South Plainfield Fire Department. Fire and EMS units tended to the victim and transported her to Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston and South Plainfield Fire units were able to quickly bring the fire under control. The cause of the fire, according to South Plainfield Fire Chief Thomas Scalera, is under investigation.

TAPinto South Plainfield’s article on the fire (https://www.tapinto.net/towns/south-plainfield/articles/neighbors-rescue-woman-in-harrison-ave-house-fire) was uploaded to Facebook late Monday afternoon with readers sharing the story and commending Sammy and Crystal for their heroic efforts.

Janet Del Nero said, “Thank you for helping your neighbor.” Dawn Lester posted, “Thank God her neighbors were able to get her out.”

“Everyone is thanking me and telling me what I did was brave and courageous. I guess it is because not many people would run into a house that is on fire but I really didn't think about it,” Sammy said. “I was just acting on instinct. I knew she was in there and that I had to get her out.”

He added, “I am glad I was able to help but if it weren’t for my sister hearing the explosion, which turned out to be glass breaking, it would have been a very tragic evening.”

Those looking to help the fire victim can do so by visiting a gofundme page set up March 2 by Crystal Ghanem. For more information or to make a donation, visit https://www.gofundme.com/f9s6qr98.

 TAPinto South Plainfield is South Plainfield’s only free daily paper. Sign up to get all the news as it happens at www.TAPinto.net/enews and follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SouthPlainfieldTAP/ and on Twitter at @SoplainfieldTAP.

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Somerville

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!

 

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_09c0665ea9d03afcd34d_spb-4923_newsletter_may_22

Tue, May 22, 6:30 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. Sugar Land Skeeters ...

Sports

Carousel_image_8665906ab5be45abb262_spb-4923_newsletter_may_23

Wed, May 23, 6:30 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. Sugar Land Skeeters ...

Sports

Carousel_image_63321ee14331a27d512a_spb-4923_newsletter_may_24

Thu, May 24, 11:00 AM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. Sugar Land Skeeters ...

Sports

Hillsborough Teen Prevails in Chess Match Against Somerset Freeholder Levine

May 16, 2018

ROCKY HILL, NJ – Somerset County Freeholder Brian Levine had his hands full as he matched wits with 10 young chess players in a simultaneous tournament at the Mary Jacobs Memorial Library.May 14.

Levine’s opponents, ages 6-18, proved to be a tough match, with 7-year-old Grace Liang stumping Levine several times before he prevailed.

Some matches took as long as three ...

Valairco Heating and Cooling Celebrates 50 Years of Service; Dedicated to Keeping Your Family Comfortable

May 9, 2018

MANVILLE, NJ - Valairco Heating and Cooling is celebrating 50 years of serving the central New Jersey area and beyond. Kevin McHugh, owner and third generation of this family run business, takes pride in a job well done and Valairco’s commitment to providing the best value around through stellar workmanship, industry leading warranties, and affordable prices and maintenance ...

SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...