ARLINGTON – Fire Chief Dave Kraski presented the Phoenix Award to community member Jake Smith Monday and honored Arlington firefighter/paramedics Bob Beam and Keith Johnson for their actions in the same incident.
In the early morning hours of May 22, a residential fire broke out in Fire District 22 (Getchell). A neighbor called 9-1-1 around 1:30 a.m. stating that the neighbor’s “whole house is on fire”. Medic 46 was arrived to find a fully involved house fire and multiple patients.
Smith lived in the home with his mom Wendy and her boyfriend, Kurt. They were all awakened by the fire and had to escape from the upstairs. Smith jumped out of his bedroom window, and Wendy and Kurt were able to make it downstairs, but had their primary means of exit blocked by fire. While making their way to another exit, Kurt and Wendy became separated. When Smith and Kurt met outside, they realized Wendy was still inside. Smith reentered the home, found his mom and pulled her out. He suffered severe burns on his arms and spent six days in the hospital.
Beam and Johnson treated Wendy before transporting her to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where she spent 31 days in the hospital and is now working to regain her voice.