Hometown Hero: Soldiers save family from fire - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Hometown Hero: Soldiers save family from fire


Grease fires can be one of the fastest spreading house fires, and the most devastating, and had it not been for the quick actions of two neighbors, who happened to be soldiers, a Hinesville family may not have a house to call home. 

Army Sergeants Michael Richardson and Brandon Ziegler may not be in the same unit, but they made a great team, tackling a fire and making sure all their neighbors inside were out safely.

Sgt. Richardson of Headquarters, Headquarters Company, First Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd ID answered his door after the doorbell rang over and over again.  One of the children alerted him that her house was on fire and Richardson could only think of all that could have been inside.

"The grandmother, the great-grandmother, Jalen, Jamiah," said Richardson. "The older granddaughter is 10, and then the baby." 

He rushed over and the two women were in the doorway with smoke billowing out.  He helped the two when another neighbor ran toward the smoking house.

"When I got there, Michael was pulling the lady's mom out of the house," Ziegler, of the 233rd Heavy Equipment Transport, 3rd Sustainment Brigade, recounted.

Maryella Haynes hugged one of her heroes tight, especially since her mom can't walk and is blind.  When they knew everyone was out, they went to work putting out the fire.

"I went back in the house, got her fire extinguisher off the wall," said Richardson. "Brandon had his fire extinguisher and then we started to attack the flames."

"We proceeded to put it out the best we could, ran back outside got some more air, went back in, kept doing that until we got the fire out," said Ziegler. 

The two sergeants and friends managed, through thick black smoke, to keep the fire to the kitchen.  That was their self-instructed orders, and mission accomplished.

Richardson's thoughts were to minimize the damage to the house, and possibly other people's houses in the neighborhood.

For their actions, these two Fort Stewart soldiers are WTOC Hometown Heroes. 

And an added Happy Birthday to Sgt. Ziegler, who was celebrating with a quiet dinner with his wife, when he was called to duty!

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