February 05, 2007

Transportation Security Officer Saves 10 People Asleep in Burning Building

A fire was engulfing the top floor of a three-story apartment house when TSO Catherine Burns spotted it as she drove to work at Hanscom Field Airport in Bedford, Mass. on the morning of January 17.
She immediately stopped and, realizing the fire was raging above residents as they slept, ran into the smoke-filled building.

"I just ran," said Burns. "I never did shut my car off. I just ran into the building."

Risking her own safety, Burns knocked on apartment doors on all three floors to wake sleeping residents who had not reacted to a faint smoke alarm. "The smoke wasn't that bad on the first floor," Burns recalled. "Once I knew I couldn't take it anymore and I thought everyone was out, I ran out, too."

Burns' heroic act is credited with saving the lives of all 10 people in the building – and a resident's dog.

The two-alarm fire rendered the building uninhabitable. Residents said they are grateful that "Good Samaritan" Catherine Burns was in the right place and the right time, willing to take action. She suffered minor smoke inhalation, but continued on to work at the airport.

"We are very proud of Catherine and the actions she instinctively took to help others in distress. She is an important part of our team and demonstrates that same type of commitment and dedication to her job in the airport every day," said FSD George Naccara. "Considering what she did on her way to work, then spent a full shift in the airport, on duty, as if this was just any other typical day for her - that is truly remarkable."

Hat Tip: TSA.Gov

No comments: