Hero saves elderly woman from burning house
|This house at 412 Richmond Road suffered major damage during a Dec. 31 fire.|
Jan. 2, 2013 — A Susanville man carried an elderly woman trapped on the second floor of her residence to safety in an early morning New Year’s Eve fire at 412 Richmond Road.
According to a press release from the Susanville Fire Department, Susanville resident Mike Morales “happened to be in the area” about 3:18 a.m. Monday, Dec. 31 when he heard a man call for help. The elderly man was able to lower himself from an upstairs balcony into the back yard but was unable to assist his wife so he started yelling for help.
“Mr. Morales heard the calls and went into action,” the fire department reported. “With no regard for his own personal safety, Mr. Morales climbed up the balcony, battling extreme heat and smoke conditions and carried the female to safety.”
Upon arrival, the fire department found heavy fire conditions at the rear of the house and the fire was spreading quickly. Both elderly residents were placed in a police vehicle to stay warm and were transported to Banner Lassen Medical Center for treatment of mild smoke inhalation. The couple’s identity has not been released.
“Firefighters fought heavy fire conditions and near zero temperatures, at times freezing hose lines, nozzles and equipment,” the fire department reported. “The house suffered extensive damage. Two houses, one on each side of the fire, were saved due to the efforts of firefighters.”
According to the press release, the elderly couple was sleeping in an upstairs bedroom when the man was awakened by a loud pop and the wail of smoke detectors. He exited the room and found the stairway to the first floor was ablaze. The couple left the bedroom and got on the balcony. The man climbed down to the rear yard, but he was unable to help his wife and started yelling for help.
No firefighters were injured during the incident, and an investigation into the cause of the fire continues.
The Susan River Fire Protection District, the Janesville Fire District, the Susanville Police Department, the Lassen Municipal Utility District, the Susanville Public Works Department, the California Highway Patrol, the Lassen County Office of Emergency services and the Red Cross provided additional assistance.
The Susanville Fire Department reminds residents to know two ways out of your house and practice a home evacuation plan to be used in the event of a fire.
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