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Firefighter Shares Breathing Mask to Save Trapped Woman


(Photo of Lovato and Terrell via WUSA9)

Phyliss Terrell, a great-grandmother in Washington, D.C., was trapped in her third-story apartment. She was getting ready to jump out the window when Truck 7 from the DC fire department arrived. Firefighter Danny Lovato reached her with a ladder.

Both of them were engulfed in smoke. Lovato had an oxygen mask, but Terrell didn't. So Lovato pulled off his mask and gave it to Terrell so that she could survive while other firefighters approached her position from inside the building.


(Photo of Lovato and his wife by Fox 5)

Once the other firefighters reached Terrell, Lovato descended the ladder, all while choking on the smoke. Both were rushed to the hospital, where they were treated for smoke inhalation. Lovato was released on Friday. He's being praised as a hero, but doesn't think it's a big deal. Fox 5 quotes him:

“What I did wasn't extraordinary,” Lovato said. “It’s what we have been trained to do. You may hear that it was extraordinary, but it’s not. My instinct was to help Phyllis. I knew I wasn't going to be able to pull her over the railing because we were so high. I knew that it would risk both of our lives so I just gave her my air.”

-via Debby Witt


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