Father, son make heroic rescue during Gresham fire
A father and son were working on a construction site Friday morning, July 12, when they saw black smoke billowing up into the sky.
They heard someone shouting that a home was on fire around 7 a.m. near Southwest Fifth Drive and Duniway Avenue, and that people were trapped inside. So Jason Steffey Jr., and his father Jason Steffey Sr., decided to be heroes and rescued a grandmother and two children.
"It was 100% a heroic effort on their part," said Lt. Julie McAllister, a Gresham Fire & Emergency Services spokeswoman. "They pulled them out before the first fire engine arrived."
Steffey Jr. entered the home first, wading through smoke that reached up to his knees.
"I saw the kid and so I beelined straight for him, grabbed him and ran right back out 'cause I know it's really dangerous going into a building (on fire)," Steffey Jr. told KOIN 6 News, an Outlook media partner. "But I can't just let a kid sit in there."
Steffey Jr. said his father ran inside to rescue a second child, and then went back one last time to rescue the grandmother.
"I grabbed the other toddler, and came out and handed him off then had to go back in to get the lady," Steffey Sr. said. "It was dark and hot and I fell and got ahold of her and just drug her out, got to the front door and (that was) as far as I could go. I was done. But somebody else came in and got her from me."
"She was in rough shape," Steffey Sr. added.
Gresham Fire Engine 31 was the first to arrive at the scene around 7:13 a.m. They discovered significant fire damage to the back of the home. Because no one was sure how many people were inside the home, they did a search to ensure the father-son duo had rescued everyone.
As other engines arrived, including firefighters from Portland, they cut a hole in the roof to vent smoke and heat. Emergency responders were able to prevent the fire from spreading.
The three people inside the home were transported to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center for significant burn treatment. Both father and son were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation, but otherwise were uninjured.
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