Cable worker rescues fire victims

August 23, 2012 10:00:00 PM PDT
Twin sisters say they are lucky to be alive thanks to Comcast cable, or more specifically, a Comcast employee.

It's a case of the cable guy truly saving the day. The single alarm fire broke out around 10am at the apartment complex on Westward at Gulfton. A total of about four units were affected, but the one on the top where the sisters live was engulfed by flames. And they say it wasn't for the cable guy, they wouldn't have survived.

"The flames were coming out the door," recalled Lisa Wesley.

Wesley and her twin sister Melanie Aguirre are thrilled to be able to come back to their burned out apartment. Hours earlier they barely escaped with their lives, just as they were making breakfast.

"What I think is, the grease popped and came out, and ignited, and then ignited the pot," Aguirre explained.

Within minutes, the fire engulfed their apartment. The sisters began screaming for help. Cable worker Russell Henderson just happened to be in the complex making repairs.

He said, "Ran up the stairs, saw the fire, got one of the ladies out, told them to come on down, and the other lady was like, I need to save my cat."

As Wesley tried to save her cat, Henderson grabbed his work ladder to save Wesley. He was able to rescue her from the second floor balcony just in time.

"I think he's a hero, do you know who he is?" Wesley asked. "Oh good, because he saved my life. I wouldn't have gotten off that balcony, I was fixing to jump."

"As she's coming down, she's like, 'I can't breathe, I have asthma,'" said rescuer Russell Henderson. "I'm like, 'Just come on down, ma'am, because if you're talking, you're breathing.' So she finally gets down, and once she gets down to the ground she just sits on the ground and starts hollering, 'I have asthma. Please help' and all of that."

Henderson held the woman's hand and prayed with her until paramedics arrived. The twins were transported to the hospital as a precaution. The cat was unhurt as well.

Firefighters are calling Henderson a hero.

"Wow, wow, I never thought of it like that," he said. "But thank you, and I thank them."

Henderson says he's thankful firefighters were so quick to respond. The sisters are just glad there were some broken cable lines in their complex.

Aguirre said, "Some people just ignored us and he was one of the few people who stepped up and helped us, and we both have asthma. We almost died."

Crews are cleaning up. The sisters are meeting with Red Cross officials who will help them find some place to stay while things get sorted out. They are very grateful for Henderson's quick action and they say one of the first things they will do when they get settled into a new place is to buy a fire extinguisher.

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