The Mohave Valley Daily News
GOLDEN VALLEY, Ariz. — Golden Valley Fire Chief Thomas O’Donohue is calling some local residents “true heroes” for their acts of bravery at a structure fire Friday.
According to Golden Valley Fire District Administrative Assistant Nicole Guerrero, firefighters were called to 5324 Destiny Way around 7:38 a.m. Friday, with O’Donohue arriving two minutes later to find a “fully involved structure fire with exposures.”
The scene escalated moments later with reports that there were people trapped inside the burning home.
When O’Donohue arrived in the back of the home, he found 48-year-old neighbor Robert Davies holding the 92-year-old resident by a window who was too weak to get out on her own.
“The woman was being held up by a window to get fresh air as the black smoke was filling the room,” O’Donohue said.
Another neighbor, Paul Bissonette, a member of the local Neighborhood Watch, broke open some windows and pointed rescuers to the proper location. Off-duy fire Capt. Steve Winn was also on the scene, helping hold the woman up from the outside.
O’Donohue went into the house.
With the fire spreading to the bedroom — and fearing a “flashover” was just seconds away — O’Donohue and Davies pushed the nearly unconscious woman over the windowsill into the arms of Winn and Bissonette. Davies and
O’Donohue then exited the structure.
“When we hit the ground and looked back, I saw heavy flames coming out of the window, spelling certain death for any occupants,” O’Donohue said. “This was as close as you can come and still come out alive.”
O’Donohue said the entire drama — from the receipt of the fire call to the escape of the resident and her rescuers — took just seven minutes.
The home was a total loss. The 92-year-old resident was treated for injuries; O’Donohue was treated for smoke inhalation and Davies refused medical treatment after evaluation by paramedics on the scene.
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