Greater Binghamton Airport TSA Officer Patrick Cronk and his daughter were waiting to catch a morning bus in Endicott, New York, when he heard a loud popping sound followed by breaking glass.
Cronk told his daughter to stay at the bus stop while he and one of his neighbors rushed to a nearby house that was on fire. Upon arriving at the home, they found a mother and her young son climbing out of a second story window onto the porch roof.
Cronk shouted to the woman to drop the boy down to him. She did, and miraculously, Cronk caught him.
Cronk called 911. Meanwhile, two people ran from the house onto the fire escape only to find that the ladder wouldn’t release. They were trapped.
Cronk's neighbor ran across the street to get a ladder. As soon as the second person walked down the ladder to the ground, the window just below the fire escape blew out.
As the window broke, with flames and smoke bursting out of it, the lady on the roof fell, hitting a car while falling to the ground. Rescued family members cared for the victim until she could be transported to a hospital, where she recovered from her injuries. One other family member was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation.
Cronk continued to describe the scene to the 911 operator until the fire chief arrived.
All six family members survived, while two sustained injuries. Fighting heavy smoke, firefighters from multiple fire departments battled the blaze for nearly four hours before putting it out.
“We were able, luckily, to get six people out of that house,” Cronk told WBNG 12 News in Binghamton. “Luckily, everyone got out safe.”
“It’s no surprise that [TSA Officer] Cronk would race to help a family in danger,” said Bart R. Johnson, federal security director for Upstate New York airports. “His actions are a strong reflection of his dedication to protect and serve others.”
Some information for this story was compiled from news reports from WBNG 12 News in Binghamton.