Sanitation Workers Save Woman From Burning House

CLEVELAND -- Two local sanitation workers are now heroes.

Along with the help of two officers, they managed to save a woman from a burning building Tuesday morning.

Ed Williams and Kyle Kogar were in the right place at the right time on their regular Waste Management route on West 25th Street.

"My partner noticed a bunch of black smoke," Kogar said. "We wrapped around the corner, Ed jumped out of the truck, stopped traffic. I backed in, got as close as I could to the house."

The house on West 25th Street was engulfed in flames, with a woman hanging out of the attic window screaming for help. So the pair used some quick thinking and their garbage truck to coax her down.

"Something needed to be done immediately, and our truck's tall enough," Williams said. "We all started screaming, 'It's time to jump. You've got to jump!' And she took the leap."

It was about 12 feet to the truck, and by that time a couple of other good Samaritans and two MetroHealth officers were also on the scene. Officers Rich Gentry and Justin Fisher got a tip from a passerby and headed to the location right away.

"Our main goal was to get that female down to safety," Fisher said. "We didn't care about anything else."

"We were just doing our job," Gentry said.

But the Waste Management workers were in the middle of their job and just acted on instinct.

"She's the real hero," Kogar said. "She had to make the jump. We were just doing what we would hope anyone else would do for us."

The whole ordeal only lasted about six minutes.

The woman suffered some minor injuries and was taken to MetroHealth. At last check she was in fair condition.

Kogar and Williams continued with their day and finished up their route.


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