by Nick Beres
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – A Rutherford County student has been credited with saving her neighbor from a burning apartment.
Katie Kelly did the one thing firefighters tell you never to do: she ran into a burning building.
"And, I'd do it again," said Kelly. Murfreesboro Fire and Rescue Officers credited Kelly with saving a neighbor and her dog from a burning apartment.
"Good job. You got lucky," said Assistant Fire Marshal Tracy Summar.
Summar said he can't recommend that people run into burning buildings, but he said that in this case, Kelly's action likely saved two lives.
"The smoke was the main danger the young lady faced," said Summar.
Kelly said she awoke to a fire alarm last Friday and ran down the stairs to find smoke billowing from a neighbor's apartment. She approached an open window and heard a dog barking from inside.
At that moment, she cut the screen over the window and jumped into the room to rescue the dog. She found the pet and then also discovered the dog's owner still asleep on the bed.
"I was like ma'am you need to get up and I don't think she really realized what was going on," said Kelly.
A sprinkler system kept the flames contained to the kitchen, but the smoke was becoming dangerously thick. Kelly said she rushed to guide the disoriented woman and her dog through the stifling haze and out the bedroom window to safety.
Firefighters arrived on the scene seconds later and extinguished the blaze which had started on the kitchen stove.
No one was hurt. Kelly said she realizes she took a big risk going in to the burning apartment.
"In this situation I had to act quickly and I would absolutely do it again," said Kelly.