LEWISVILLE, Texas - Cell phone video of a daring rescue shows the moment Lewisville firefighters pulled a woman to safety after an apartment fire.
Three people, including a firefighter, were injured in last week’s fire. At last check, the firefighter and one man have been released from the hospital and are at home recovering. One woman remains in the hospital.
Lewisville firefighters got the call just after dinner time on August 9. When they arrived, they already knew a woman was trapped on the second floor right in the worst of the flames. She was on the phone with 911 dispatchers.
“It’s a rarity it actually happens,” said Lewisville Fire Battalion Chief David Pennington. “We do the practice so that when it does happen we’re ready for that game day.”
Firefighters say the fire started in the apartment below. The flames were so strong that the only way to get to the woman was through a window.
Firefighters Coleton Spann and Captain Brian Staton were among the first to scale the ladder. Staton was injured during the fire.
“I went head first through the window,” Spann recalled. “My first reaction was just kind of gathering my thoughts. This is what I need to do. I don’t know the layout of the room. I don’t know what’s in the room. I don’t know where furniture is or if she’s even in there for sure.”
Within minutes, firefighters found the woman unconscious in the corner of a bedroom.
“Every second that goes by, it’s affecting her outcome long term,” Spann said. “We made contact and moved as fast we could.”
Outside the window, a team including firefighter Mark Murphree was waiting to carry her down to a stretcher.
“It does make you proud to be part of something,” Murphree said. “To know it took a lot of people a lot of working parts to make that rescue happen.”
At last check, the woman is still in a medically induced coma in the hospital. But her rescuers are hopeful.
“We pray for her and hope she recovers,” Spann said. “We’d love to see her one day if that’s the case.”
Firefighters are using the cell phone video along with other recordings to go back and see how they can improve their skills.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but investigators know it started in a first floor apartment where no one was home.