Lancaster firefighter burned on duty comes home - abc27 WHTM

Injured Lancaster firefighter returns home after months in hospital

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One of the goals for the Lancaster City Fire Department is to get everyone home safely every day. For Lt. Andre Kelley, it took three months to get home.

That finally happened Wednesday. Banners and balloons decorated his house, and people filled the streets to welcome Kelley home.

"It's a great day for us today," said Marvin Kelley, the lieutenant's father. "We've been looking forward to this day for a long time."

"Today is the best day we've had since that fateful day on February 18," said Captain David Longenecker of the Lancaster City Fire Department.

That is when Kelley rushed into a burning house while trying to save a woman and child. The room burst into flames, and he was burned on 40 percent of his body.

After three months in the hospital, Kelley came home with an parade-like escort to a celebration fit for a hero.

"Whatever he wants to eat, his favorite foods," said the lieutenant's stepmother Stacy Kelley. "Many, many hugs and prayers and thank-you's. That's what today's all about."

The emotions could not be extinguished.

"Fire service has always been something where men don't cry. Well, let me tell you, this changed all that," said Longenecker.

It was also the public's first look at Kelley since the accident. His body, bandaged. Some scars, visible.

"We're all gonna carry the scars," said Longenecker.

As the recovery continues, so does the support.

"I'm feeling completely overwhelmed. I'm thankful. We feel blessed," said Stacy Kelley. "We're just looking forward to getting back to life as normal."

Marvin Kelley said that may take a while. The lieutenant's recovery will take at least one year, maybe two. Once he is better, Kelley wants to re-join the fire department.

He was honored at a Lancaster Barnstormers baseball game last month.

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