Two Long County firefighters had to break a cardinal rule of firefighting to save a man’s life Monday afternoon, their chief said.
Long/Ludowici Volunteer Fire and Rescue Chief Chris Moss and Firefighter Ray Purcell were the two who had to decide whether to don firefighting equipment and possibly let a man die in a mobile home fire on Hussey Lane, Moss said.
They decided to go into the fire without their “turnout gear,” he said.
Moss said when he and Purcell arrived at the mobile home at approximately 3:45 pm they at first encountered light smoke coming from the residence. Moss said he was told by the 911 dispatcher everyone was outside the trailer, but Moss noticed there was no one standing outside the home waiting for him.
Moss, Purcell and a deputy from the Long County Sheriff’s Office began yelling into the residence to see if anyone was inside. Moss said they heard someone inside coughing, and Moss and Purcell tried to go inside the mobile home but made it only 10 feet inside before they had to exit.
Moss said they again went inside, this time spotting a man’s arm. The two firefighters dragged the man outside, where he was able to breath on his own.
Moss said he broke an important rule by entering the home without his breathing apparatus.
"Unfortunately I broke the No. 1 cardinal rule,” Moss said. “I would never expect anyone to go into a structure fire without their turn out gear. Fortunately he was close enough to us and we could hear him. Luckily this time it worked out for us, by breaking the rules in this case we did save a life."
Moss said the fire is under investigation and is believed to have started in the kitchen. The mobile home is occupied by two adults and one child.