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Mich. firefighters rescue disabled man in house fire

A Melvindale police officer could hear the man screaming and tried to crawl inside

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By Jackie Martin
The News Herald

MELVINDALE, Mich. — Had it not been for the courageous efforts of a Melvindale police officer, and four firefighters from Melvindale-Dearborn Station No. 5, the life of a Melvindale resident might have ended on Aug. 5.

Both Melvindale and Dearborn recognized five first responders on separate occasions recently with lifesaving awards or their rescue of a 63-year-old disabled man inside a burning house.

At about 5 p.m. on that August day, a neighbor made an emergency call for help after noticing fire at a house in the 19000 block of Wall Street.

Sgt. Humayun Rahman was among the first to arrive.

According to Lt. Robert Kennaley, the fire was quite intense at that point.

The resident could be heard inside the house screaming.

Witnesses confirmed the resident was confined to a wheelchair.

Kennaley said fire blocked every entry inside the house.

He tried to go in, but quickly had to back out.

Rahman reportedly crawled halfway inside the house through the front door with his torso inside the living room and his legs outside.

Kennaley said he was able to spot the resident and yelled for him to slide off his wheelchair and onto the floor.

“He was only halfway inside the house and he said he could have sworn his whole body was on fire,” Kennaley said of the police sergeant.

Firefighters arrived from the Dearborn station as Rahman crawled out and told them a resident was trapped inside and where he was located,

At that point, Dearborn-Melvindale Fire Capt. Ken Abraham, Lt. Adam Farrell, and Firefighters Terri Karsten and Steve Timmons arrived on the scene.

“The firefighters thanked him because they wouldn’t have known that he was inside or where he was,” Kennaley said. “They went in and got him.”

The lieutenant said the fire started in the kitchen and appears to be the result of a faulty fan in the refrigerator.

Rahman received both merit and lifesaving awards from the police department on this run.

The merit award, Kennaley said, was for putting his own life in danger getting inside the burning house enough to locate the resident and instruct him to get low to the ground.

“He went in there knowing he could suffer great bodily harm,” Kennaley said.

This is the second lifesaving award for Rahman, who also was recognized recently for his action helping to save the lives of juveniles who were shot during a dispute in the parking lot at Kessey Fieldhouse back in May.

Among other things, Rahman applied a tourniquet to a teenager’s leg that had been shot in his femoral artery.

Kennaley said the teen would have bled to death had it not been for Rahman applying the tourniquet so quickly.

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