In Santa Monica, Calif., Major Calvin Prouty recently attempted to rescue a neighbor from a burning house. When another nearby resident, Christopher Wilson, arrived on the scene, he found Prouty dousing the front of the building with a garden hose.
Majors Calvin and Glenda Prouty are resident administrators at the Santa Monica Silvercrest.
When he noticed the fire, Prouty called 911 before grabbing a hose and entering the house to find the occupant. He crawled inside the house on his stomach and covered himself with a rug, but the thick smoke, heat and piles of newspapers prevented him from reaching the victim.
“There wasn’t enough length on the hose or enough power,” said Prouty. “I focused on a corner of the house where I thought the fire started and crawled inside. But by then, I had taken in too much smoke.”
Firefighters arrived and went to work. Meanwhile, Wilson entered the house through the back door and discovered the victim surrounded by flames. He managed to pull him out; the man was rushed to the hospital where he was in critical condition with second and third degree burns on his back and neck.
Neighbors, including Prouty, said they never met or saw the victim.
Twenty-four firefighters responded and within minutes had the blaze under control. The fire started because the resident fell asleep with a lit cigarette.
Source: Santa Monica Daily Press article by Carolyn Sackariason, Sept. 9, 2004