MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – Todd Barr, Chad Devonshire and Ross Christensen were working an ordinary day on the job for PRIME Specialty Contracting when their trip back to their shop on May 18 turned into anything but ordinary.
“We were doing a job down at Beacon House and we were done early that day, so we decided to go back to the shop to do this and that,” said Barr. “My partner, he went one way, and I went the other. I’m coming around by the Marthaler and I could see the smoke and I was like, ‘What the heck?'”
“We were coming down Washington [Street] and we were in front of Airgas, and we could see smoke,” said Devonshire. “Ross and I just joked that our shop was on fire. So we just drove towards it being nosy and when we rolled up, turned the corner on Baraga there was a truck and the back of it was engulfed in flames.”
“So, we pulled up, Todd was in front of us,” said Christensen. “He was already on site ahead of us and nobody else, everyone else was keep on driving by so we looked around, it was an older couple who was in the truck and the older guy got out of the car and was kind of looking around at the fire.”
But there was still someone in the truck.
“So went over there and I turned her, and she was kind of facing me in the seat and I looked down and noticed that she was not physically able to get out of the truck,” said Christensen. “So I thought, well okay this is kind of real at that moment. I kind of got my hands underneath her arms kind of and she kind of went down and so we had to turn her around. I got her out and away from the truck and Todd came over and gave me a hand and brought her over to the corner of the parking lot then.”
“And by that time, it was time to move,” said Devonshire. “It got hot, and I think it was about 30 seconds and the whole truck was up, so it surprised me with how fast it went up. “
Had it not been for their quick reaction, the truck would have blown up with the woman still inside.
“All of a sudden then the gas tank went and exploded and could have been a dire situation if we weren’t there,” said Barr.
Because of that, these men were recently awarded with the ‘Life-Saving Award’ from the City of Marquette.
“Chief Grim had called Chad the next day,” said Christensen. “I had gone down in the morning to talk to the officer on site to kind fill-in-blanks for the police report and he said, ‘You know you guys really saved that ladies’ life.’ And I’m like yeah whatever, we just did what we did, you know. And then, Chief Grim had called us later on saying they were going to recognize us at the June 13 Marquette City Commission Meeting and we’re like, oh okay, you know it’s a little, kind of, I don’t want to say embarrassing but it’s kind of like we didn’t even think about it. We’re not trying to get a lot of attention. We just did what we did, you know.”
But, it’s an act that made a difference.
“Well, it’s not really a hero,” said Devonshire. “I wouldn’t call it a hero. It’s just something we did that you’re kind of expected to do or you should do. I think about if that was my mom or somebody’s mom, you want them out of the vehicle.”
“It feels good,” said Barr. “I’m just glad we were there and helped. Like I said, I hope that if it ever came about somebody would help me or my family.”
“I’m glad we got there when we did,” said Christensen. “You know, you have to do something. That’s the way we looked at it. We didn’t think about it at that time but after looking back later in the day, I’m glad we were there. I’m glad we saved somebody’s life and we didn’t even think about it. It wasn’t about trying to get recognized or anything like that. It was just about helping somebody out that was in need basically.”