Newport News, Va. – A woman escaped from a house fire in Newport News on Tuesday thanks to the quick actions of two brave USS Abraham Lincoln sailors.
The Navy has identified the two sailors as Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) Second Class Devon Bishop and Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) Third Class Jessica Jusino. Both had just completed general shipboard firefighting training at Naval Station Norfolk’s Firefighting Training School just weeks ago. Today, that training came in handy.
At around 11:22 a.m., emergency crews received calls about a fire in the 600 Block of 35th Street, which is in the Southeast Community.
Before fire crews arrived, the two sailors, who were on their lunch break at a restaurant nearby, saw smoke coming from the area. When they drove down the street, they saw a crowd standing in front of a home with black smoke coming out of the enclosed porch.
“When we pulled up, we rolled down the window and asked the crowd if everything was OK,” said Bishop. “They said no, and that a lady was inside.”
They were able to get into the house through a side door and thankfully they found the woman. They were able to get her out of the burning home before crews even arrived.
“He went to the right, and I went to the left, knocking everywhere to see if someone would respond,” said Jusino. “When I heard her scream, I yelled to Bishop and told him to kick in the wooden door that led to the kitchen.”
They had to push past a freezer that was blocking a door that was bolted. They found the woman who was feeling her way around and screaming, believing that someone had broken into her home.
“After we told her that her house was on fire and that we were there to help, we helped her out of the house through the back door,” said Bishop. “She was trying to grab some items but we told her we need to get you out now. Jusino and I then grabbed her walker and took her to the backyard.”
The woman was then taken to a neighbor’s house until her daughter arrived.
“The lady was scared, and really didn’t know what was going on, but she was thanking us over and over again,” said Jusino. “We on the other hand were still on an adrenaline rush.”
Officials say thanks to these two brave sailors, the woman escaped unharmed.
“I feel stunned,” said Jusino. “I am relieved that we happened to be there at that moment.”
Crews arrived three minutes after they were dispatched to the area. They say flames were coming from the front porch area. They were able to get the fire under control by 11:35 a.m. The front of the home sustained the most damage.
No cause has been determined yet. They estimate that the damage caused to the home is around $3,500.
The home was not condemned.