September 26, 2023


“The patient was on the floor beside of her bed, so just picked her up and carried her out,” that’s how Charleston Firefighter Wes Runyan described what he saw when he went into a burning house last night.

Runyan is being called a hero after doing what most of us find to be the most honorable part of their job– rushing into a burning building while everyone else is trying to get out.

“When I was bringing her out, I couldn’t even see anymore, it was that black,” Runyan added.

But if he hadn’t gone in, the blaze would have been fatal. The woman inside was bed-ridden, and had no chance to get out on her own. Runyan said if he had gotten to her just two minutes later, it would have been too late.

“They was always good people. They never bothered anyone. They stayed a lot to themselves,” said Marshall Hairston, who lives a few houses down from the home that was on fire.

Hairston lives just a few houses down from the home, and came outside when he heard the sirens.

“By the time I got there, they had already had her out and they were bringing her down the street on the cart,” Hairston added.

But thanks to quick work by Runyan and his fellow firefighters, everyone is expected to be ok.

“I don’t think I’m a hero at all. Every guy that was there last night would have done the exact same thing, I just happened to be the first one off the truck,” added Runyan.


CHARLESTON, W.Va. — One woman is lucky to be alive following a fire at her home in Charleston Thursday evening.

The fire started about 6:30 p.m. in the 1500 block of Second Avenue. One person was able to get out of the house on their own. When firefighters got to the home, that woman told them there was still one other person trapped inside the home. That is when firefighter Wes Runyan went into the home, picked up the woman and put her on his back, and carried her out of the house.

“If we were there a minute or two later, she wouldn’t have made it. There’s no way,” Runyan said. “When I was bringing her out, I couldn’t even see anymore. It was that black.”

There was extensive damage down to the house, but Runyan said it’s not a total loss. Everyone that was in the home is expected to be OK.


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