Teen meets firefighters who saved him from burning home
An 19-year-old with autism this week met the firefighters who pulled him out of a burning home on June 13 in Milwaukie as he continues to recover.
Firefighters who performed the rescue six months ago hosted Timm Wilson-Kreuger and his family to a firehouse lunch on Dec. 10 at the Milwaukie fire station on Harrison Street. After extensive medical care, months in the intensive care unit and continued rehabilitation, Wilson-Kreuger has reached a point in his recovery where he is able to come and visit the crews who rescued him that day.
Timm Wilson-Kreuger is a big fan of the Tyrannosaurus rex so the firefighters bought him and his family matching green shirts along with the large poster of a T-rex.
Clackamas Fire Lt. Justin McWilliams, who was part of the search-and-rescue effort said, "Our mission is simple, 'To safely Protect and preserve life and property.' What makes this career so rewarding, is to see the impact we truly have on our public. We have built a relationship and amazing bond with Tammi, Kevin and Timm over the last six months, following a significant fire that almost took everything from the Wilson family. We get to celebrate Timm's recovery together at the firehouse, which is less than a mile from the address that brought us all together."
As this newspaper reported in June, firefighters responded to the two-alarm fire just before 8 p.m. in the 9700 block of Southeast 38th Avenue.
Neighbors told KOIN 6 News that they heard screaming and ran outside to find a woman yelling that her son was trapped inside the burning building.
They said they tried to save Wilson-Kreuger before fire officials arrived. They broke some windows in an attempt to reach him but the flames were too big and too hot.
"I just started kicking at the front door, and it was too hot and flames were ripping through the windows," neighbor David Chis told KOIN 6 News. "It seemed like a lost cause, but I didn't really want to give up with it being that someone was stuck in the house."
Firefighters arrived to find a large amount of black smoke and fire coming out of several windows. With reports confirming that someone was still inside, first arriving crews quickly made access to the home without the protection of a hose line to begin looking for the trapped individual.
From witness reports and a quick systematic search, firefighters were able to locate Wilson-Kreuger, who had locked himself in the hallway bathroom when the fire started. After locating him, the firefighting team was able to make their way in low-visibility and high-heat conditions to a front window where he was lifted out and handed to a team of waiting firefighters. Medical care was inititated before being transported to an area hosptial.
Wilson-Kreuger was taken to the hospital in critical condition. Others on the scene were treated for smoke inhalation. Firefighters said a power line fell on one of their trucks at the scene.
Wilson-Kreuger, who has Down syndrome, reportedly ended up in the bathroom after becoming scared when an accidental cooking fire started in the kitchen. In addition to the quick actions of the firefighters, the closed door was credited for keeping the smoke and heat out of the bathroom and creating a survivable space in the minutes he waited to be rescued.
A fund for the family at gofundme.com has raised nearly $25,000.
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