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Lackawanna heroes named Legislature’s Citizens of the Month for October


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Erie County Legislator Lynne Dixon is pleased to announce that Lackawanna residents, Jack Pirowski, his son, Zachary Pirowski, and Robert and Carmen Lowe have been named the October 2013 Citizens of the Month in recognition of their heroic actions during a recent fire. The four are credited with running to a Center Street apartment complex the night of Oct. 16 and saving seven of their neighbors who were trapped on a ledge by the flames.


“The story is amazing. I can’t imagine the strength and courage it took for these ‘average’ citizens to run from the comfort of their homes, into the dark of night and in a split second coordinate a rescue mission to save several adults and children who were trapped on a roof while their homes burned below them. Jack, Zachary, Robert and Carmen are heroes and it is an honor to name them Citizens of the Month in recognition of their bravery,” said Legislator Dixon.


According to media reports, Jack and Zachary Pirowski, and Robert and Carmen Lowe heard the cries for help and responded. Carmen told reporters that she convinced one of the tenants to toss the two children to her, which were safely caught and taken to the Lowe residence to wait for emergency responders. Two of the adults decided to jump and were caught by the rescuers. When the others became hesitant to jump, Zachary wasted no time and ran home to get a ladder, allowing the remaining victims to climb down safely.


No one knew it at the time, but the cause of the fire was ruled arson and the presence of accelerants caused the fire to grow aggressively, increasing the danger for all present. Thanks to the quick thinking and response by Jack and Zachary Pirowski and Robert and Carmen Lowe the tenants were freed from the roof before it was too late.


“While the rescuers deny being heroes, after hearing the story I can’t think of a more appropriate title for them. They faced an extremely serious situation and are responsible for saving seven lives,” said Legislator Dixon.


A proclamation was presented to each of the honorees to recognize their heroism duringa ceremony held Oct. 29 at the Lackawanna Fire Department’s Station #3.


For additional information, please call Legislator Dixon at (716) 858-8671 or email lynne.dixon@erie.gov.