I always wonder what kind of training it takes to prompt people to run toward danger. I mean, when an alarm sounds or gunshots ring out, the natural human inclination is to flee.
But countless professionals don’t do that; soldiers and paramedics and firefighters head straight toward peril.
And thank God that they do. As one Texas woman knows, many of us wouldn’t make it otherwise.
Harris County Sheriff Deputy Roberto Martinez had responded to an early morning call regarding a ferocious house fire in Baytown, Texas, on Tuesday, according to the Houston Chronicle.
When Harris arrived on the scene about 4 a.m., the blaze had lit the entire block. Flames had engulfed a trailer, reducing it to cinders as they leaped into the night sky.
Body camera footage shared on Facebook by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office showed the entirety of the dramatic scene.
It begins with Harris running down the street. He asks passersby if there was anyone in the building and they respond that there was.
Harris finds the blazing building quickly enough and begins yelling, “Hey, where you at? Are you in there?”
He races around the structure, desperately trying to find the resident within. Choking smoke swirls from the structure in thick gouts.
A neighbor eventually comes and points Harris toward the right section of the home. That’s when he learns the resident is over 60 years old.
Eventually, Harris discovers the resident’s bedroom and shatters its window with the end of his flashlight. He calls repeatedly for the woman inside to come to him.
After an agonizingly long time, she does. “I got you, mama,” Harris says, hefting her and speeding away from the fire.
It turned out that the woman’s name was Eloisa Martinez, a 63-year-old who lived at the property with her husband and two children. She and her spouse needed hospitalization for smoke inhalation, while first responders treated the children at the scene.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez praised Deputy Martinez for his actions, saying, “The challenge with fires is with smoke. You can’t easily use your references and line of sight. She could have easily gone in the wrong direction.”
Martinez shrugged off the praise and said, “I’m just glad I was able to be there. Any one of us would have done it, and most of us probably have done it at some point in their career.”
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