With his father on the scene and sister dispatching, a northwest Pennsylvania firefighter became trapped and was killed and another badly injured in a trailer fire Thursday

The incident happened in Sugarcreek Boro in Venango County. Conditions in the fire deteriorated as crews attacked the fire, trapping the firefighter on the upper level.

According to Tom Brown, 911 Coordinator for Venango County, the fire was reported at 11:10 a.m. Thursday in a single-wide trailer with a basement. Units from four departments arrived to find smoke and fire showing from a trailer and immediately began an aggressive attempt to extinquish the blaze.

The Rocky Grove Volunteer Fire Department was first due and one team of firefighters entered the structure on the first floor while another attempted to enter into the basement, both with charged hoselines, a Venago County Emergency Services Center press release issued late Thursday said.

Conditions quickly deterioriated during a flareup, and the two firefighters on the first floor had to quickly evacuate the trailer. One was able to exit through a window and suffered second degree burns to his hands, neck and head.

But the deceased firefighter -- identified as Lieutenant Andrew White, 27, a 13-year-veteran of the Rocky Grove department -- was unable to get out.

When crews realized that White was missing, an extensive and aggressive rescue effort was mounted by units on scene and additional units were dispatched, officials said. He was found on the first floor by rescue crews but had already passed away.


The injured firefighter, Dale Miller, 23, was transported to Northwest Medical Center in Franklin. He was listed in satisfactory condition on Friday afternoon.

Brown said a propane tank in the basement made it difficult to bring the fire under control and eventually 26 volunteer departments in the county responded to the incident, primarily for manpower. Mop up was completed by 3 p.m.

White came from a family of firefighters. His father, John, is a past Chief and current Assistant Chief of the Rocky Grove department. He was on the scene and participated in the search for his son. Andrew White's wife, Allison, is a member of the department and an EMT with an area ambulance service.

According to Brown, the dispatcher who took the call and worked the incident until it was almost completed was White's sister, Mary Beth.

White's mother and uncle are also members of the department.

"Pennsylvania's firefighters risk their lives every time they respond to a call," Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge said in a statement. "Today, tragically, Andrew White gave his life to protect a fellow Pennsylvanian's home, and D.J. Miller is in a hospital bed, suffering from severe burns,"

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. The death was the fourth on-duty firefighter fatality this year in the United States.