Sailors rescue Newport News woman from burning home

Levels 010 and 011 of the island of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) are replaced as part of the ship's refueling and complex overhaul, April 18, 2014.


By ANDREA CASTILLO | Daily Press (Newport News, Va.) | Published: July 2, 2014

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — A Newport News woman was rescued out of her home by a pair of Navy sailors Tuesday morning, a Newport News Fire Department spokesman and Navy officials said.

Local dispatchers received initial reports of a house fire in the 600 block of 35th Street just after 11:20 a.m., said Newport News Fire Department spokesman Stephen Pincus said.

Before local firefighters arrived, two sailors from the USS Abraham Lincoln on their lunch break saw smoke coming from the area and found that the porch of the home was on fire, Pincus said.

A bystander told the sailors that a woman, described by Pincus as elderly, was in the house, and they were able to rescue her by getting in the house through a side door.

Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) Second Class Devon Bishop and Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) Third Class Jessica Jusino pushed past a freezer that was blocking a bolted door, and they found the woman screaming, thinking she was being burglarized, according to a news release from USS Abraham Lincoln officials.

“After we told her that her house was on fire and that we were there to help, we helped her out of the house through the back door,” Bishop said in the release. “She was trying to grab some items but we told her we need to get you out now.  Jusino and I then grabbed her walker and took her to the backyard.”

The woman's daughter, who had just left for work, met up with them next door, turning around when she was told about the incident, Navy officials said.

Firefighters arrived shortly afterward and declared the fire under control in about 10 minutes, damaging the front of the home and causing about $3,500 worth of damage, Pincus said.

Fire officials are investigating the cause of the fire, and no injuries were reported from the fire.

The sailors returned, realizing they left the engine of their vehicle running, Navy officials said.

“I feel stunned,” Jusino said in the release. “I am relieved that we happened to be there at that moment.”

“It’s stuff you always hear about, but never really imagine yourself in that situation,” said Bishop. “Everything we’ve learned, and all the training that has been instilled in us came into play today, with no hesitation.”


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