The Aug. 5 fire at the Meadows of Catalpa on Idle Hours Court in Harrison Township was caused by a grill on a balcony, and the flames quickly spread to several units. Dozens of people were displaced as a result.
Nearly a month later, a woman who was carried to safety met one of the first responders who rescued her.
Tomasina Barfield suffered from smoke inhalation and injuries to her back from falling down trying to escape her apartment.
Harrison Township Battalion Chief Dave Nangle found her stuck on the ground and yelled for help. Montgomery County Deputy Javan Richardson answered that call.
It took Nangle and Richardson less than a minute to carry Barfield three flights of stairs to safety.
Barfield does not remember the rescue but is grateful they were honored by the township and the opportunity to meet the men who helped her.
Richardson said he is happy to receive recognition, but he was just doing his job.
“I do it just to help the people,” he said. “So, for me, it’s every other call, you know, I go to which is just a call, you know, sometimes they go great. Sometimes not the best, but when they’re great, glad to see everybody’s healthy, safe and we’re all good to go.”
Barfield lost everything in the fire and has been taking it one day at a time.
“My creator just keeps me going, and prayer, and I have a couple of friends to help me out, let me stay at their house,” Barfield said. “Other than that, I’m just grateful to be alive.”