Lifestyle & Human Interest

While Helping Battle Apartment Blaze, Rookie Firefighter Hears Noise and Saves Woman's Life


Some people jump from career option to career option without seeming to have a clear plan or awareness of their strengths. Others find out pretty quickly that they’re suited for a certain field.

Probationary firefighter Kojo Saunders proved that he’s doing what he was meant to do after saving the life of a woman on Sunday.

Saunders, with Engine 10 in Trinidad, is a rookie with the D.C. Fire and EMS, but he proved his mettle at an apartment fire after entering a unit and finding the inhabitant still inside, in serious condition.

The young firefighter-in-training said he’d been helping move hose into the building when he heard someone coughing.

“Checked with them to make sure they were good, started searching, found the occupant,” Saunders said during an interview that was later tweeted.

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“And then I — I dragged them out and brought them to Rescue 1 outside, then I rejoined my company.”

D.C. Fire and EMS said that the occupant was taken to the trauma center in serious condition, according to WJLA-TV.

“Update Working Fire 2100 block I St NE. #DCsBravest rescued an adult female from 1st floor fire apartment,” D.C. Fire and EMS tweeted around 1:00 p.m. Sunday.

“Victim transported to a trauma center. Fire confined to 1st floor Apt. in 3 story occupied apartment building & now under control. Displacements anticipated.”

Saunders has since been praised for his life-saving efforts by his own team, as well as others. D.C. Fire and EMS tweeted about Saunders, adding that he wasn’t the only probationary firefighter to prove their worth so far this year.

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“A great rescue effort by Probationary Firefighter Kojo Saunders of Engine 10 in Trinidad,” the tweet read.

“With only 6 months experience, he located and removed an adult female victim from her burning apartment. He is the 2nd probationary firefighter this year to make a rescue.”

Saunders is also a humble hero, giving a simple, straightforward answer when asked how it felt to have saved a life.

“It feels nice to be able to do my job.”

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