Fast response at Colonie fire credited to training by firefighter

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Updated: 3/18 11:18 pm

COLONIE, N.Y. – The assistant fire chief credited training for rescuing a woman from a burning home Monday.

Midway Assistant Fire Chief Robert Sammons was the first firefighter on scene of a house fire on Albany Street Monday night.

“I don’t think we’re heroes,” he said of the responders’ actions. “We’re just doing our job.”

Sammons has been a volunteer firefighter for 20 years. He credits his training for the quick response and rescue. He said two Colonie police officers had kicked open the front door of the house when he arrived.

“They had basically forced the door open, and they were making entry into the building just as I got the to the door way,” he said.

Inside the home, an uncontrolled fire was continuing to grow.

“We saw basically a kitchen fire with some pretty good smoke condition on the second flood,” he explained.

Sammons said he could hear a woman in trouble yelling for help.

“A lady screamed on the second floor, basically, said she needed help,” he continued.

Sammons, the policemen and a Colonie EMS worker immediately went to the woman.

“She was right on the floor, right next to the room where the fire was actually,” he said.

The responders didn’t waste time picking up the elderly woman.

“At the feet, a couple of us at the head, basically carried her outside,” Sammons explained.

Sammons said it all happened so fast that instincts took over.

“You don’t even think twice about it,” he said. “It’s one of those things where you train, train, train. You know, I’ve been doing this job a long time, and it’s never actually happened to me.”

Sammons said relying on his training Monday was paramount.

“It’s probably one of the most important thing we train for, and it’s actually a good feeling to see it go well and have a good outcome at the end,” he said.

Sammons also credits the other first responders who were at the fire.

“We needed all of them to get her out. That’s what the situation was,” he explained. “It wasn’t just going to be one of us getting her out. We needed all of them to do that. So, luckily they were there to give us a hand and do that.”

The Red Cross is assisting the people who lived in the home.

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