An Emporia firefighter is being hailed as a hero after taking action and saving a woman inside a burning apartment, reports nbc12.com.
The rescue happened nearly two weeks ago, but we’re just getting our first look at the video. Smoke was pouring out the door when first responders arrived and they were alerted there was a woman still trapped inside.
“Back bedroom! Back bedroom!” you hear Emporia Police Corporal David Shidell yelling on the video.
Lights flashing, black smoking billowing from the home and family members screaming, this was the chaos that greeted the firefighters when they arrived on scene.
“Basically, when he was yelling that, I decided not to grab the hose line and go straight in,” said firefighter Mark Ryals remembering how he reacted.
In the dash cam video, captured by Emporia Police, you see the reflective gear of Ryals. He says initially he could see inside the home, but things changed as he made his way to the victim’s bedroom.
“I couldn’t see anything, so I was feeling around in the bed, suspecting that’s where she’d be located. Unfortunately she wasn’t,” he said. Instead she was on the floor, wedged between the wall and the bed.
That’s when Ryals’ years of volunteer training and on the job experience as a Richmond career firefighter kicked into action.
“At that point, I grabbed her arm and drug her out,” he said.
Nearly 40 seconds after he first went into the burning home, Ryals got the woman out. Initially she was unconscious, but she woke before she was taken to a nearby hospital and eventually flown to VCU Medical Center.
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