By BOB COUPLAND
LEAVITTSBURG - Last November, firefighters and safety crews from Warren city and township, along with Braceville and Champion helped save the lives of two adults and two children at a house fire on North Leavitt Road.
Warren Township trustees and Warren city officials this week gathered to recognize the many firefighters from the communities who battled the blaze and saved the family.
There were recognized for their heroism and also working together to make a difference in the community.
Warren Township fire Chief Ken Schick said it was a joint effort of all four fire departments who worked together at the fire on Nov. 15.
''It was an amazing outcome of what happens when we work together,'' he said.
Warren Mayor Doug Franklin said what is most important is how the city and township can be together on so many things including working together as united safety forces and saving a life.
''We work best when we work together,'' he said.
Warren Township Trustee Chairwoman Cheryl Zaben said Schick is also to be commended for his efforts at keeping the fire scene together with the rescue of the man and also getting the fire under control.
Warren City Assistant Chief Dan Suttles said the two communities got to the scene at the same time and worked together.
He said the crews rescued Louis Kawecki, who was unconscious and trapped near the front door of the two-story burning house, and then got the fire under control. Rita Kawecki and two grandchildren, Braylin Rogers and Christopher Eblender, were able to get out of the home.
Kawecki, who was able to call 911 while trying to get out of the home, said he is very grateful to the firefighters for getting him out of the home. He spent time recovering from smoke inhalation at Cleveland MetroHealth Hospital.
Schick said the home had a smoke alarm which alerted the family to the fire.
''Everyone worked together to save a life and put the fire out. This fire had a happy ending,'' he said.