First Arriving Network
First Arriving Network

Dramatic Citizen Fire Rescue in France

Police on the Scene With a Ladder

A 90-YR.-OLD WOMAN WAS RESCUED from her blazing apartment by a passing soldier, a crew of policemen and two neighbors Tuesday evening.

The woman's kitchen was ablaze and she first tried to put it out herself without success.  As the fire spread into her apartment, her escape was cut off and she could only retreat to her balcony.  The smoke was visible from a nearby police station and several officers responded immediately to the scene where they commandeered a ladder from a craftsman's work van.

While the soldier started scaling the ladder, the others went inside to try an incursion into the apartment, but were unable to get inside.  They then went down one floor and came out on the balcony below the fire apartment.  The soldier and a policeman going up the ladder were accompanied by two young men from the neighborhood and they all combined to make the dramatic rescue seen on the home video:


The comments on the video are bystanders repeating that the fire brigade is too slow arriving.

The old woman was severely stricken with smoke inhalation and was rushed to the hospital.  The fire brigade arrived soon after and removed another six victims with their tower platform. 

All photos via L'Alsace

The fire was extinguished with one hose line, but three apartments were burned while two more on the floor below had water damage.  Eight people were treated for smoke inhalation.

The rescuer, Corporal Dmitri Higelin, 22, is recently returned from four years in the army where he served in Afghanistan.  He says he is ok with just some minor burns on his legs.

Dernieres Nouvelles d'Alsace has the STORY.

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