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Roanoke firefighters named Red Cross heroes for saving one of their own

We honor our 2018 Firefighter Heroes as part of our annual Celebration of Heroes. 

We know they serve our community, but one day in November 2017, three men also saved one of their own from getting hurt.

It was determined the fire in the home on Tazewell Avenue was intentionally set, but inside the unexpected happened to one Roanoke City Fire Lieutenant.

Capt. Jason Crouch was the first one to see his fellow firefighter was in trouble.

“He went over to open the door with an ax and he said he took a swing and when he stepped to take his swing there was no floor below him,” Crouch said.

On the second floor of the burning home, Lt. Lucas fell through and was caught on a floor joist, hanging head first.

Firefighter Kyle Inman was the second person to respond.

“As I got closer, I saw Lucas in the floor and Jason laying there holding him up, so I went over there and grabbed a hold of him with one of my hands, so we each had a hold of one of his pack straps,” Inman said.

However, as the house continued to burn they still couldn't get Lt. Lucas loose.

The third firefighter to respond proved to be the charm.

“They're two big guys, they should be able to pull him out pretty easy, it had to be something else holding him. So ... I just run my hand down the pack tried to figure out where it was at, noticed the top of the pack was lodged under the floor joist and was able to shimmy it out and free him up,” said firefighter Brad Dinwiddie.

Lt. Lucas was finally free, but all four men quickly realized the outcome could have been much different.

“I know he would have fallen head first by the way he was in the hole. What he would have hit on the way down, there was all kinds of stuff for him to hit on the way down,” Crouch said. “The potential was there for him to be hurt.”   

“Just really glad it went the way it did. It could have been a lot worse,” Inman said.

“He called me and said he just wanted to thank us and let us know he appreciated it. I know for a fact he would have done the same thing for any of us standing there. I told him ... no thanks needed,” Dinwiddie said.

Thankfully, everyone walked out of the burning home safely.  


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