Eighteen honored with 911 Lifesaver Awards for heroic effort to save family from fire

By KBJR News 1

October 9, 2013 Updated Oct 9, 2013 at 6:44 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com)--- Eighteen people were honored Tuesday for their combined efforts in saving a family from a potentially deadly fire in Virginia.

From the little girl who witnessed the flames coming out of the house, to the police officers who went in without a second thought, each person involved was given an award at today's St Louis County Board meeting in Duluth

"The real hero in this story is Lauryn Devich. If Lauren wouldn't have observed that fire on the porch and said something to her grandmother, this could have been a whole different story," said Virginia Fire Chief Dan L'allier.

"I saw flames coming out of the front window so I told her to turn around so we ended up turning around and sure enough there was so we called 9-1-1 and they came pretty fast," said Lauryn Devich.

"I'm so proud of her and so glad I listened to her," said Cindy Forseen, Lauryn's grandmother.

The fire had already engulfed the home on the 700 block of 5th avenue South in Virginia, trapping three people inside. Three Police Officers including, Officer Steve Estey were first on scene. They found a disoriented woman inside the house, but Estey had a sixth sense that something more was wrong.

"Just to be sure, I ran upstairs to make sure nobody was up there. Lieutenant Nickila was behind me and I could hear a young child screaming at the top of the stairs," said Officer Steve Estey, one of the first emergency personnel to respond on scene.

Estey had to knock down the door to a bedroom where he grabbed the frightened child and got her out of harm's way. Another officer found a young baby on the couch. Thanks to the quick thinking of police, all three residents were rescued.

"I don't consider myself a hero and I know my two partners don't either. We love what we do and part of that is to help people out," said Officer Estey.

The St Louis County Board recognized the firefighters, police officers, 9-1-1 dispatchers, and of course 10-year-old Lauryn Devich and her grandma with the 9-1-1 Lifesaver Award today for their teamwork in saving that family.

"It's always a good feeling when you feel that you saved someone," said Devich.

The lifesaver award is typically given annually, but this is the second time the award has been given this year

Written and posted to the web by Raeanna Marnati
rmarnati@kbjr.com

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