Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)— A Calumet City resident visiting relatives in Park Forest saved an elderly man’s life Friday afternoon when he kicked in the front door of a burning house, woke the sleeping resident, and escorted him safely outside.
Taron Williams of Calumet City said he was playing with his niece at his sister’s house in the 21800 block of Central Park Ave. when he noticed smoke coming from the next-door neighbor’s home.
"I saw the smoke, then I saw the fire. I yelled to my sister, ‘The house is on fire!’" He said he threw his sister a phone and asked her to call 911. Then he ran outside to the front door of neighbor’s house.
"I beat on the door," Williams said. When there was no answer, he tried to gain entry. When this proved unsuccessful, he kicked in the door. Williams said he called out, asking if anyone was in the house. He found the resident, an elderly man, asleep in his bedroom. The fire was burning above on the second floor. Smoke was pouring down the stairs.
Williams woke the resident, "Sir, your house is on fire. We gotta get out of here." He quickly helped the man dress for the cold weather and escorted him outside. At this point, he says, police pulled up, and the Park Forest Fire Department arrived on the scene. Williams said they were outside "by the time the smoke really started catching."
Williams was very pleased with the response time of the police and fire. "They thanked me and said, ‘Nice job.’" He says he felt great afterward, but admits he didn’t take much time to consider what he should do.
"At first, it was just adrenaline."
Commander Chris Mannino of the Park Forest Police Department praised Mr. Williams’ quick thinking, "He basically saved this guy’s life."
The resident also expressed his gratitude to Williams, "He thanked me and said I was a blessing.”