Around 3PM this afternoon, Kingsport firefighters were dispatched to a possible structure fire on Martin Street. As Engine 5 arrived on-scene, they had heavy smoke visible from a residence. Fire crews on C-shift made an aggressive interior attack to keep the fire confined to the basement. While firefighters located the seat of the fire, another crew searched above the fire to ensure that no other victims were inside of the residence. After the fire was knocked down, the firefighters ventilated the house and checked for any additional hot spots. Overhaul was completed and the cause of the fire is currently under investigation by the Fire Marshal’s Office.
According to the media reports, two local citizens that saw the smoke coming from the basement had called 911 and approached the residence. The two citizens were told by a resident that her son was in the basement. It was at that time that the citizens entered the basement and located the victim lying on the floor. They were able to drag him to safety as firefighters were responding.
While I would never suggest that anyone place their own safety at risk, I think that none of us can say what exactly we would do until we are placed in that situation (as citizens, not responders). For example, I know that two elderly female live in the house next to mine. I cannot say 100% that if I was out doing yard work and saw smoke coming out of their house…that I would not enter it. There is often a fine line between helping and hurting. Possibly the difference is luck. If I enter the smoke-filled house and become a victim after being overcome by the smoke or heat, I have just hurt the situation. At that point, the firefighters arriving on-scene would then have three victims instead of two. In the same case, if I am able to go into the residence and assist my two neighbors out…then I have possible saved their lives. What do you think?
Nonetheless, I think that these citizens should be commended for their brave actions and also be thankful that they were able to make a difference! I cannot express enough respect for these individuals, one of which is reported to be 16 years old, for putting OTHERS before themselves. While this isn’t something that is seen very often, today, it appears they contributed to a positive outcome.
Check out the media links below: