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Middletown firefighter receives welcome from hundreds after getting released from hospital

After spending two months recovering from serious injuries he suffered from a fire, Middletown firefighter Shawn Menear was released from the hospital on April 6.

DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. — In Royalton Borough, Dauphin County, community members gathered to welcome Middletown firefighter Shawn Menear home on Wednesday.

"The emotions that we went through today – a lot of us were pretty teary eyed," said Chief Kenny Whitebread of the Middletown Volunteer Fire Department.

Menear has spent the last two months in the hospital after sustaining serious injuries from a deadly fire in Dauphin County in January. He suffered second and third degree burns when the second floor of a home collapsed on his right leg. 

"It's the worst call any mother can get – that your son was trapped and hurt, and he's in a burning building," said Susan Menear, Shawn's mother.

More than 100 days and five surgeries later, the Middletown Volunteer Fire Department escorted Menear from a hospital in Philadelphia all the way to his doorstep in Royalton Borough.

Company 88 is currently loading up in the City of Philadelphia to finally bring our brother home. Firefighter Shawn...

Posted by Middletown Volunteer Fire Department on Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Family, friends and firefighters from all over central Pennsylvania filled Menear's entire block to welcome him home.

"A lot of us were all on that same call that he was on, [and] we answered the call whenever they need it," said Rich Fanning, the assistant fire chief of the Hummelstown Fire Department. "It's always good to come out and see him come home and come back to us here."

"We're always here for each other; our brothers and sisters, we'll always have their back," said Jason Seymore, a shift captain of the PA International Guard Fire Department 193 Special Operations.

While the journey to full recovery isn't over just yet, Menear is basking in the moment as the community rallies behind their hometown hero.

"I got a long road yet ahead of me but I know, with so many people behind me, we'll make it [and] we'll be good," said Menear.

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