NEWPORT CITY – Fire Chief John Harlamert rescued a woman from a burning building on Herrick Street Sunday evening.
He identified the owners as George and Margaret Coulter.
Firefighters received a page for a possible living room fire on 41 Herrick Street at 4:56 p.m. A few minutes later, dispatcher upgraded the call to a structure fire.
During an interview Monday morning, Harlamert said that when he arrived on the scene, two people were standing on the porch hollering for an extinguisher, and fire was showing through a window behind them. As Harlamert was getting his gear on, neighbor and former Newport City Fire Chief Bobby ‘RJ’ George asked the couple if anyone was left inside the home. The couple finally told George that someone was still inside the structure. Hearing that information, Harlamert sprang into action.
“I stopped what I was doing, went inside the building, got ahold of the person, and got her out,” said Harlamert, who found the disoriented victim in the back of the home. “By the time we got to the hallway, the kitchen had black smoke all the way to the floor. I pretty much knew where I was going because it was a straight shot in and a straight out. I also knew it was only like 15-feet to the door, so I wasn’t super concerned, but I didn’t know what I was walking into. RJ was in the doorway, just hollering my name, so I headed for his voice. He met me at the door as I came out with her.”
Harlamert told George, who was part of Monday’s interview, that he was happy to hear his voice as he was heading out of the kitchen. In turn, George told Harlamert that calling for him was an automatic reaction for him.
See Tuesday's Newport Daily Express for more.