“It takes a special person to be a fireman,” said Harmony Commissioners Chairman Glenn Angus, whose grandfather was a fireman and fire chief in Ambridge for many years.
Angus presented Shearer a plaque on behalf of the township, recognizing his bravery to save a life while posing a risk to his own.
But Shearer said he just happened to be in the right place on Sunday, July 6. When the fire call came in around 10:30 a.m., it didn’t take long for Shearer to get to the 500 block of Merchant Street, where a fire spread to two businesses.
“I was on scene in a minute,” he said.
Smoke was already pouring through the apartment at 573 Merchant St., where resident Carl Amado, hanging from a second-floor window, yelled for help.
Shearer said there wasn’t enough time to put on an air pack. He put up an extension ladder with the help of Ambridge Fire Chief Dave Drewnowski and climbed up. A second ladder also went up, allowing Shearer to bring Amado down.
Shearer was treated for smoke inhalation, but refused to go to the hospital. The fire, meanwhile, destroyed two buildings and damaged a third.
The rescue wasn’t his first.
Angus said Shearer was also involved in rescuing residents from a fire at the Fourth Street apartments in Ambridge a few years ago. Beaver County Commissioners recognized those emergency officials for their heroism.
Shearer became a junior firefighter at age 14. July marks 15 years that he has been a firefighter.
Along with Shearer, Angus recognized Fire Chief Mike Farland for his leadership and the entire department for their dedication, experience, passion and overall volunteer service to the community.
"We're very fortunate that we have such a good quality fire department here," Angus said.