Quick, heroic action of first responders from Liberty and Hardin is being credited with saving the life of an Ames woman in the early morning hours of Thursday, Jan. 20.
Liberty Fire Chief Brian Hurst, ESD #7 Fire Chief Nic Nelson and Liberty police officers Jacob Cantu and Kyle Cornelius pulled 55-year-old Jackie Freeman through a window of her burning home on the 300 block of Martin Street, using whatever items they could find to access Freeman’s bedroom window.
“When we arrived, the brother of the victim was standing on an air conditioning unit and trying to reach her. We all attempted several times to remove this woman through the window. Eventually we were able to grab hold of her and pull her out,” Hurst said.
Smoke made visibility nearly impossible.
“You couldn’t see more than a foot inside the house. We knew she was in the bedroom, so we kept trying,” Hurst said.
As she was being loaded into an ambulance to be transported to Liberty-Dayton Regional Medical Center, fire crews from Hull-Daisetta, Hardin and Liberty arrived on the scene and began to battle the flames.
“She’s very lucky to be alive. Fortunately all of those folks were Johnny on the spot and got there so quickly,” said Liberty County Fire Marshal Bill Hergemueller. “It could have been a lot worse.”
According to Hergemueller, in an interview with the fire victim afterward, she told him that she had gotten up to go to the bathroom, smelled smoke and went back to bed, thinking it was just the burning smell put off by a heater.
Freeman was later transported to a hospital in Galveston for further treatment and is expected to recover. Cantu and Cornelius were both checked out by medical personnel at Liberty-Dayton RMC afterward. Nelson and Hurst were cleared on the scene by medical personnel.