Wednesday, November 21, 2018

DFPC Firefighter Praised for Off-Duty Save

By Sarah Sanford, DFPC Public Education Specialist 

This story starts off with a hero sitting on his back porch enjoying the beautiful late morning sun and drinking coffee. This unlikely hero didn’t know what his morning would entail, but a public servant is always prepared to answer the call to duty.

Lucy R. Murphy was visiting from Florida, watching her daughter's house. She was cooking up a breakfast of sausage and bacon when she decided to pop out to grab the mail. When she stepped outside the front door, suddenly the door slammed behind her! She hadn't taken her phone or keys with her for the short distance, so found herself locked out of the house, the bacon cooking on the stove, the puppy inside. With no access to her phone, she couldn’t call 911, and she started to panic.

Lucy was starting to see smoke and she didn’t know what to do. She suddenly remembered that her daughter mentioned that the neighbor was a firefighter. She rushed to knock on his door.

Josh Matheny, center.
Josh Matheny’s morning coffee was interrupted by a panicked knock. He went to the door to find Lucy asking him to come and help her find a way back into the house. She explained how she locked herself out and left the bacon on the stove. She was worried that she might burn the house down and needed to get back in NOW!

Lucy and Josh hurried back over and searched all over the exterior of the house to find an opening. Josh found it a little amusing that she was encouraging him to “break a window or a door!” She would pay for it, she said. Instead, Josh quickly spotted an opening on the third floor. He looked all over to find a ladder. Finding the ladder, he climbed up and opened the window to enter the house.

The house was filling with smoke and the fire alarms were going off. Josh took the bacon off the stove and opened the windows to air out the house.

Lucy recently sent a thank-you letter to DFPC’s Professional Qualification and Training Chief Mark Quick to explain Josh's heroic actions that day and to express her gratitude. To Lucy -- and to us --  Josh is a hero.