Neighbors Rescue Mandan Man from Fire - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Neighbors Rescue Mandan Man from Fire

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Firefighters responded to a house fire in Mandan over the weekend. But they weren't the first to arrive on scene.

A Mandan man is alive after collapsing in a house fire over the weekend. And it's thanks to the help of strangers.

"We ran through here," says Sonya LaFountaine. "The smoke was coming through this door right here."

LaFontaine and her husband were coming home from a late night shopping trip when they noticed smoke coming from their neighbor's house. Sonya called 911 and woke up the other members of her family.

"My auntie and her husband ran over here, and they knocked on the door, and they pounded, and they heard a moaning noise. And they opened the door and there was a guy laying there. So, they drug him out to the steps right here, and they got him out. And that smoke was just really blowing out," she says.

Sonya and her mom helped pull the man to a nearby tree.

"We put him behind that tree right there, just to get out of the way," says LaFontaine.

"And he just had his boxers on and socks. And they covered him up with a jacket. And he was still standing there coughing, " says Stanley LaFontaine. "He looked like he was delirious from the smoke and didn't know what was going on. And by then, the cops showed up and they took him to the cop car."

Mandan firefighters arrived in seven minutes. They rapidly controlled the fire. Firefighter Andrew Beck says it was a significant fire. But the flames weren't necessarily the biggest danger.

"Far and away the biggest danger inside of a home or a business that starts on fire is smoke. There are so many chemicals inside of smoke now because of some of the synthetic materials we have in the home rather than natural wood and fiber based materials," says Beck.

The man who was rescued from the fire was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation.
Investigators still aren't sure what caused the fire.

From 2005 to 2009, two thirds of fire deaths occurred in homes that had no smoke detector or no working smoke detector. Beck recommends people test their smoke detectors regularly and have an escape plan. And he says never to enter a home that is on fire.

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