By Susan Monteleone
BARRYVILLE April 23, 2002 On Friday night, Dorothy and David Sherman of Barryville never expected to lose their home to an early morning fire the next day.
But thanks to a group of guardian angels in the form of area residents, the Shermans didnt lose their lives.
The couple was home when the fire broke out, and they were trapped inside. Neighbor David Hulse noticed the raging fire and immediately notifed Town of Highland Constable Robert Maas. While Maas was being informed, State Troopers Vincent Boyd and Tom Loewke heard the call and joined Maas and Liberty Police Sgt. Brian Van Houten in responding to the emergency call.
The four arrived shortly and immediately went to the rear of the home, calling to see if anyone was inside. In the meantime, Hulse ran back to his nearby home and retrieved a ladder.
Dorothy Sherman heard the calls of the policemen and walked toward their voices.
But just before reaching safety, she collapsed.
So the officers then crawled in under the smoke to Sherman and pulled her into the night air. Upon being revived, she pointed to a window and stated that her husband David was still in their upstairs bedroom.
The officers immediately called out to David Sherman in hopes he would come to the window. Upon hearing the mens voices Sherman appeared and began pounding fiercely on the window with his hands and his head. The men placed one ladder to the porch roof in time to see Sherman break the window and collapse on the open window sill.
Liberty Sergeant Anthony Lupardo began to climb the ladder to rescue Sherman; however, he could not pull Sherman out of the window. Then Chief Constable Maas placed the ladder brought by Hulse against the porch and climbed up. Maas pulled Sherman out of the window, and he and Lupardo using the Buddy System between the two ladders brought Sherman to safety.
The Shermans lost two of their dogs in the fire, but their two children were not home at the time of the fire. They were taken to Bon Secours Hospital in Port Jervis by the American Legion Ambulance Corps. They are expected to recover, although at press time, confirmation of the injuries could not be obtained from a hospital spokeswoman.
Dorothy and David Sherman are both bus drivers for the Eldred Central School District.
The Yulan Fire Department, the American Legion Ambulance Corps, the Highland Lake Fire Department, MobileMedic paramedics, the Lumberland Fire Department and its ambulance corps, and the Shohola Fire Department were on the scene until 4 a.m. The cause of the fire is under investigation.