VES Rescue in Wichita


Wichita firefighters pulled a 33-year-old man through the window of a burning house Saturday afternoon in Wichita.

Firefighters arrived at a house fire in the 1000 block of North Pershing shortly before 1:30 p.m. and found smoke coming out of the building, Wichita Fire Battalion Chief Andy Cole said.

After entering the building, which is northwest of Central and Oliver, firefighters were able to locate the fire and contain it, he said.

Firefighters on the outside of the house began entering through windows to search the structure and located the man in a rear bedroom.

“They couldn’t come through where the smoke and the heat was, so they brought him out through the window,” Cole said.

Witnesses said a firefighter dived through the window “like Superman.”

“He acted like it wasn’t even a window,” said Lisa Cardona, who lives across the street from the house. “He saw someone in there and he just dove on in, no touching the window. He just, whoosh, goes on in.”

Two firefighters helped pull the man out of the window while the one who dived inside was pushing him out, Cardona said.

After he was out, firefighters got a chair and helped him walk over to it, she said.

Emergency Medical Services units came to the scene and transported the man, who had smoke-inhalation injuries, to Wesley Medical Center, a Sedgwick County emergency dispatcher said.

“It was really awesome to watch that – they saved someone’s life,” said Tiffany White, who was in town visiting relatives that live across the street. “I really want to thank the Wichita Fire Department. They really did a good job, and it was quick.”

The dispatcher said the man was “going to be fine.”

Coynisha Allen, who lives across the street, said she had seen something like the rescue only on TV.

“I’m happy he got out safe,” she said. “It’s real crazy seeing all the trucks and seeing how personal it can get, being right next to it. You don’t want to be next – have all the firetrucks in front of your house or you stuck in a house with smoke.”

Cole said investigators are still working to determine the cause of the fire as well as how much damage it caused.

He said his firefighters are trained to perform rescues like this, though it’s “like delivering a baby: It happens, but it’s just not that common.”

“I’m glad we don’t have to do it that often,” Cole said.

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