Updated: January 11, 2021 10:37 AM
Created: January 11, 2021 10:32 AM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque Fire Rescue answers several different types of emergency calls. One of the most common ones are house fires, but it’s rare that they involve a rescue. A few crew members shared the story of the most recent rescue with KOB 4.
Last month, AFR Station 16 in northeast Albuquerque got a call for a house fire on Camino del Sol in the early morning.
Capt. Kathryn Basile, driver Diego Padilla, firefighters Jarred Herrera and Jonas Vigil and paramedics Zachary Webb and Robert McGrath rushed to the scene.
“Initially, when we rolled up, it was just a little bit of smoke and then five minutes later, I saw the orange glow going through the roof. At that point, I knew it was a big fire,” said Diego Padilla, an AFR driver.
An elderly couple was inside the home. A man was able to walk out, however, his wife was still inside.
Herrera was one of the firefighters who ran into the burning home to find her.
“The patient was laying down on the floor. She was in obvious distress. She was hurt,” said Herrera.
He helped carry her out. Padilla watched the action.
“Watching them carry her out, and seeing her breathing and her eyes open, is pretty amazing to see,” said Padilla.
It was Padilla’s first time witnessing a rescue, which are not too common. AFR said most homes are usually unoccupied, or people can get out safely from their burning home.
But even if rare, AFR is always prepared.
“When you pull up on a scene like that, you just gotta go back to your basic training. You just gotta take a deep breath, say a little prayer and you just gotta got to work,” said Padilla.
The crew’s captain couldn’t be more proud of her team. Capt. Basile said they learn fast that others’ lives need to be put before theirs.
“We all come into this job wanting to help people, and to know that we are sacrificing our life a certain extent, I think that means more to most people,” said Capt. Basile.
As for the homeowners rescued, their home’s door had a letter explaining no one could reside in the home because of the damage. However, the outside of the home looks as if a fire never happened.
An AFR spokesperson said they believe it was an unattended cooking fire.
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