They couldn’t see a thing.
The smoke was so thick Palmyra firefighters Cpt. Bobby Devlin and Jesse Wilson couldn’t see their hands in front of their faces, let alone each other. It was intensely hot, and they still couldn’t see the fire. Their instincts were setting off alarms in their heads — something bad was going to happen and they needed to get out. Then Bobby’s air pack alarm sounded, alerting them he had at best five minutes of oxygen left. They dropped everything and made their way out. That’s when the fire flashed, the deadly heat chasing them down the two flights of stairs.
Bobby and Jesse were among the first on scene that Friday afternoon in Palmyra with engine driver Lt. Joe Bruening and rookie firefighter Ryan Dunning.