Borough employee saves Weatherly couple's lives

By KENT JACKSON, [email protected]
Published: January 27, 2016
http://standardspeaker.com/news/borough-employee-saves-weatherly-couple-s-lives-1.1999862#.VqjTI9spUdE.email

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Bill Buchin said he and his wife are alive because a Weatherly Borough employee knocked on their door on Tuesday morning.

Corey Gerhart had a day off from his job as supervisor of Weatherly's water department, but was driving around to check wells before 8 a.m. when he noticed heavy smoke billowing from the chimney of the Buchins' home at 419 Second St.

"How many people are going to knock on the door because smoke is coming out? I'd be dead if it were not for that person," said Buchin, who was asleep when Gerhart knocked.

Gerhart said after knocking a few times, he started to panic because no one answered, but by his fifth knock, Buchin opened the door.

"He got his wife downstairs, got them outside. I went to the basement to shut off the furnace," said Gerhart, who is a volunteer firefighter.

The oil burner had malfunctioned, emitting dangerous levels of carbon monoxide inside the basement and on the first floor

If they hadn't woken up, "it wouldn't have been long," Gerhart said.

Almost a year ago, on Feb. 21, 2015, he was among the first to rush to a fire at the Entwistle Street home of 82-year-old Dolores Rayno, who died of carbon monoxide toxicity.

After firefighters expelled smoke and gases from the Buchins' home with a fan, the couple went back inside.

Buchin, who writes the chess column for the Standard-Speaker on Sundays, is a retired civil servant. He said Gerhart's actions shows how conscientious many public employees are.

"This person needs recognition. We need people like that," Buchin said.

Gerhart was glad to help.

"I want to pass that to my kids to not be afraid to open up and help people when they need your help," Gerhart said.