Off Duty Battalion Chief Saves Woman from Burning Home

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Battalion Chief Chris Rowe

At approximately 5:28 PM on April 18, 2012, Long Beach Fire Department (LBFD) units were dispatched to the 6000 block of Shire Way for reports of a house fire. An update later revealed the correct address would be on the next street over on the 800 block of Rancho Drive.

At the same time, an off-duty LBFD Battalion Chief noticed large amounts of black smoke coming from his neighbor’s home. He immediately ran around to the back of the home where he found the kitchen on fire. Another neighbor used a garden hose to try and dowse the flames from outside while the off duty Battalion Chief went into the fire- and smoke-filled home through the sliding glass door.

Once inside, heard the faint voice of an elderly woman and began heading that direction. He quickly found the victim slumped over in a chair and pulled her outside to safety. Immediately he checked that she was conscious and breathing before reentering the home to conduct a primary search for any other victims. By this time, Engine 22 had arrived on scene and put out the fire. Fortunately no one else was home at the time of the incident.

Rescue 14 evaluated and transported the female patient that was in her 70’s to the hospital for smoke inhalation. The cause of this fire is currently under investigation by the LBFD Fire Investigators.

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