Hero helps save residents of burning apartment building
Published: December 1, 2006 | 5122nd good news item since 2003
The American Red Cross is helping several people burned out of their Salt Lake City apartment complex after fire broke out Thursday morning. Someone was cooking with grease on the stove when the grease ignited and the fire spread.
As flames started shooting out of the top floor of the apartment, a couple of men working across the street knew they had to help. While on the phone with 9-1-1, Jason Mettman learned there were likely several people still inside the building. He frantically ran inside, hoping to get people out. He says he went in, “Knocking on doors, slamming on doors, telling people, screaming ‘fire, fire,’ making sure people woke up because everyone seemed sleepy and groggy when they were walking out of the apartments.”
The apartment manager was also knocking on doors trying to get people out. Sheila Wildman, who was evacuated from the complex says, “Someone came vigorously pounding on the door. We went to the door and they said just get out.” About 25 people got out of the three story complex, many escaping from the cold filing onto a UTA bus which arrived to give them a place to stay warm. Some of these neighbors lost many of their belongings to fire, smoke and water damage.
But no one lost their lives, perhaps because of neighbors like Jason Mettman, who ran into help. His boss, Bart Johnson, says, “He was the true hero. He ran over there, ran in the building and roused people. He’s a true hero… a true hero.”
Anyone interested in helping those displaced by the fire or any other emergency are encouraged to contact the American Red Cross. The organization is helping with supplies like food, clothing and other immediate needs. The Greater Salt Lake Area Chapter of the American Red Cross responds to an emergency like this an average of two times each week, providing assistance to victims free of charge.