March 23, 2022

Chief extends praise as Greenville firefighters battle through a tough three weeks

Therese Apel

Greenville firefighters rescued a 2-year-old boy from this burning house on South Percy Street.

Greenville Fire Department has faced down more excruciating life and death calls than usual in the last three weeks, said Fire Chief Ruben Brown.

Late Tuesday night, Chief Brown posted to Facebook about the string of structure fires his men and women have worked that have involved entrapment, and it’s a lot for three weeks in almost any Mississippi fire department.

“The last several weeks have been challenging for the men and women of the Greenville Fire Department,” Brown said.

A man narrowly escaped death in this structure fire in Greenville.

On March 1, 3-year-old Jaiden Bennett died in an apartment fire, but not before firefighters actually caught fire themselves trying to rescue him.

Brown said a week from that exact day, Relief Lieutenant Dusty Harbison, Lieutenant Buggs, Captain Ivory Walker and Assistant Chief Renover White rescued, saved and performed CPR on a 2-year-old boy from a structure fire on South Percy Street.

Monday, the chief says a man narrowly escaped a burning house on Clay Street.

Just after 6 a.m. Tuesday, a woman woke up to fire inside her home on South 8th Street and was unable to get out. She fled to the bedroom and called 911.

After the dispatcher announced the address and that a victim was trapped with burglary bars on all windows, Training Chief Lonnie Smith was blocks away before the start of his shift at his personal business, Dynamic Technology, and heard the call on his radio. Smith went straight to the location of the fire just before fire units arrived. Once on scene, Brown said, Smith noticed a hand out of the window and a voice yelling for help.

On Tuesday, Greenville Fire Department Training Chief Lonnie Smith rescued a woman trapped in this home as it burned.

With the bars on the window and no rescue tools, Smith was able to remove the bars by sheer force. The female’s voice excitedly said, “Get me baby!”

“So, Chief Smith got her and removed her from a smoking flaming structure that nearly ended her life,” Brown wrote. “I first thank God for His Grace and Mercy for sparring the lives of the rescued. I thank God for this noble profession that I love (firefighter). But sincerely thank God for Greenville’s bravest firefighters. Job well done!”

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