Reporting Gigi Barnett
TEMPLE HILLS, Md. (WJZ)—A Maryland firefighter is hailed a hero. When flames burned through a roof of a Prince George’s County apartment building, he went above and beyond the call of duty.
Gigi Barnett has more on the big risk he took to save a life.
Fire Captain Scott Kilpatrick is one of five firefighters injured fighting an apartment fire.
But his actions nearly cost him his life.
“I was praying . . .’God get me out of this,’” Kilpatrick said.
Thursday night the 20-year veteran of the department raced into a burning building in Temple Hills after hearing screams for help.
Inside on a second floor was an elderly woman who was trapped and overcome by smoke and flames.
“She says ‘I can’t breathe. It’s hot. It’s smoky.’ So I took my regulator off, and started sharing my air with her,” Kilpatrick said.
But then the problem got worse.
The woman was immobilized, the flames were growing and the air-tank they were sharing began to get low.
That’s when he quickly realized he too would need to be rescued.
“I tried to declare a may-day,” Kilpatrick said.
You can hear calling for help over the fire radio.
Despite those tense moments, while waiting for help, Captain Kilpatrick made a promise to the woman.
“’I gotta get you out here,’ and I was realizing there was fire towards the balcony,” he recalled.
Eventually both were pulled out.
The woman suffered burns on her but is expected to fully recover.
And after being briefly treated for smoke inhalation, the brave firefighter is counting his blessings after having a close call on the line of duty.
“I would really like to thank God for getting me out safe and answering my prayer,” Kilpatrick said.
Investigators say the fire started from an egg roll that was left unattended on the stove in one apartment.
The man in the apartment where the fire started says he pulled two different fire alarms but neither of them worked.