Lifesaving actions in a dangerous high-rise fire

While sitting down for his lunch break while on location for Garda, Security Guard Jesse Brown heard the fire alarm for the East Tower of the property.

He immediately went to the South entrance Fire panel and told a colleague to hold the door open for LFD to come in, and any tenants out. Officer Brown looked at the fire panel, which indicated that unit 914 had a heat detector triggered. He radioed all superintendents about the location of the alarm and made his way to go investigate. While running up the stairwell, he began smelling smoke, which became more pronounced as he approached the 9th floor.

Arriving at unit 914, the smoke was so thick that there was almost zero visibility. The door to 914 was slightly ajar, and Brown called out: “Security! If you are in unit 914, get out now!”

Hearing someone in 914 cough and call out “Help!”, Brown tried to push the door open, only to find it was stuck. After warning the resident to get back, he kicked the door open, breaking a mop that had fallen and jammed the door.

Inside the unit was an extremely thick yellow smoke where he could barely see his hand in front of face. There was fire to right, in the kitchen, burning all the way across the unit towards the balcony door. Officer Brown saw the tenant on his hands and knees on the floor, but believed him to be in shock and was concerned about his cat who was further inside the unit.

The fire was spreading across items on the ground. Brown then ran into the hallway, radioed again that the fire was active and spreading in unit 914. BROWN pulled the fire pull station, and grabbed a fire extinguisher. He went back into the unit and began putting out the fire, yelling for the tenant to come to the door.

Once Brown was further into the unit, he saw the tenant again bent over coughing. He grabbed the tenant by his shirt and assisted him in the direction of the door and he went into the hallway and last saw him going down the stairs to the exit.

Officer Brown turned and used the rest of the extinguisher on the fire that was spreading through the kitchen. Brown started to experience breathing issues and his lungs felt heavy from the exposure of the smoke. He met with paramedics and was taken to hospital for precautionary measures afterwards.

We’re celebrating Jesse Brown not just for his bravery, but for his thoroughness and commitment to saving the life of the resident. Thank you, Jesse – we’re glad you’re a part of our community!