Lifestyle & Human Interest

Grandmother Falls Trying to Escape House Fire, Then an 'Angel Came Out of Nowhere' And Saves Her


On the evening of Feb. 26, Kai Brown and his grandmother Jennie Brown were in their home in West Linn, Oregon, when a fire broke out.

Seeing the danger first, Kai called 911 and warned Jennie to get out. As Jennie came down the stairs, she slipped and fell, and couldn’t get back up again.

“I got to the top of the stairs and I tried to breathe in but it hurt really bad,” Kai said, according to KPTV. “I tried to help her down the stairs but she ended up falling.”

Kai was unable to move her himself, so he ran out of the home to flag someone down. Thankfully,  Ronnie Coulam was driving by and saw the smoke coming from the home.

Coulam wasted no time assisting the grandmother. He had his 4-month-old in the car, but asked a neighbor who was present to keep an eye on him while he helped.

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When Coulam approached Jennie, he noticed her face had been blackened by smoke, but he managed to get her to the front door. By that time, the fire department had responded and firefighters were able to take over from there.

Thanks to Kai’s vigilance, Coulam’s bravery and the firefighters’ assistance, Jennie is alive today. She remembers the rescue as a sort of divine intervention.

“This angel came out of nowhere and just swooped me up and I was out the door like that,” she said.

A few weeks after the incident, the Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue held an event to recognize the efforts of the heroes responsible for Jennie’s rescue.

“Station 56 was filled with hugs, handshakes, and a few teary eyes yesterday when our crews reunited with the people who helped rescue a woman during a house fire in West Linn last month,” they posted on Facebook on March 23.

“As the fire started getting bigger, the woman’s grandchild persuaded her to leave while also calling 911. In trying to get out, the woman slipped at the bottom of the stairs and was unable to evacuate on her own.

“The grandchild enlisted the help of a community member who was driving through the neighborhood. The bystander pulled over immediately to jump into action, entering the burning home and pulling the woman toward the front door.

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“TVF&R firefighters arrived and carried the woman out the front door and to the front lawn for further assessment. Then they returned to a hose line and helped bring the fire under control. It was a remarkable outcome, and the woman is alive today because of the quick actions of all involved.

“The grandchild and bystander were each presented with a certificate and coin recognizing their live-saving work. These reunions are always special and treasured because our firefighters rarely get the chance to follow up and meet with the people they’ve helped.

“Thank you to local media for helping tell the story.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking