Couch on fire comes in Super Bowl’s final minutes

By Kevin Spradlin

Last night’s Super Bowl was the highest rated in NFL history. But 11 local firefighters left their television screens seconds before the game-winning touchdown was scored.

As the New England Patriots were driving for what would be the game-winning touchdown Sunday night in Glendale, Ariz., volunteer firefighters from East Rockingham and Cordova were dispatched to the report of a couch on fire at a Mill Street home in East Rockingham.

Kevin Spradlin |

Kevin Spradlin |

The emergency call for help was reported at 9:45 p.m. At the same moment at Super Bowl XLIX, the Seattle Seahawks led 24-21. As 11 firefighters began to report they were en route to 178 Mill St., Patriots quarterback Tom Brady threw a scoring pass to Julian Edelman for a 27-24 lead with 2:02 left in the fourth quarter.

New England secured the victory when rookie Malcom Butler intercepted Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson’s pass from the 1-yard line with less than

Bill Bayless, deputy chief at East Rockingham and a longtime Patriots fan, said he was at home at the time the call came in. It turned out the couch had somehow caught fire inside the home, but the husband had pulled the couch onto the covered front porch and extinguished most of the flames prior to the firefighters’ arrival.

Afterward, “we we all looking at our telephones” to check the outcome of the game, Bayless said.

The timing of the call “was rather ironic” but proof that these individuals are available any time of day or night — regardless of what’s on television.




Filed in: Latest Headlines, Public safety, Rockingham, Sports

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