Survivor’s story: Crews save fireman from fiery fate

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- It was supposed to be a routine fire call for Station #1.

But when crews arrived to the wood frame home on N. Indiana, they knew they were in for a battle.

Major Chad Everett said, "It just keeps growing and growing and gets hotter and hotter."

Frantic witnesses added to the fury.

Authorities said a neighbor thought he heard a child screaming inside.

He went around the house, breaking out windows.

While his bravery is commendable, it caused major problems for fire fighters.

Major Everett said, "By him busting out the windows, it just really fueled the fire even more."

OKC fire fighters never shrink from a challenge, however dangerous.

Major Everett, and his partner, Corporal Jerod Goodwin, launched a room-to-room search.

According to Everett, "We didn't have a whole lot of time to try and make a rescue but having a report of a kid inside, I knew what we had to do."

The multiple layers of clothing, masks, helmets and gloves couldn't shield them from the advancing flames.

Everett was pushed to the ground by smoke and flames.

He told us, "I couldn't move. I was hurting so bad because of the smoke and heat. Flames all over me and everywhere I looked all I could see was fire. I'm laying there thinking, 'OK, I'm not getting out of here.'"

Just as he was about to surrender to his fiery fate, Major Everett spotted a miracle in the blaze.

"About that time, the flames parted about two feet and that was the path," he said.

His partner, Corporal Goodwin, located his superior, plucked him from death's grip and pulled him to safety.

Goodwin said, "I crawled through it and it was on my face mask, just bright orange."

Everett is certain Goodwin saved his life, "I wouldn't have stood a chance. It was my only hope of getting out so I'm very thankful to him."

Jerod Goodwin received the Medal of Valor during the annual fire fighter's awards banquet last month.

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