Right place, right time: Fill-in carrier pulls woman from burning duplexFilling in on a newspaper delivery route at 3:44 a.m. Wednesday put a Jamestown man in the right place at the right time to pull a woman from a burning building.
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
Filling in on a newspaper delivery route at 3:44 a.m. Wednesday put a Jamestown man in the right place at the right time to pull a woman from a burning building.
“It was an unusual night to say the least,” Pat Dunwoody said. “When we pulled up I thought I was seeing things.”
Dunwoody was delivering The Jamestown Sun for a newspaper carrier in southwest Jamestown when he saw flames through the window of a duplex at 1407 Seventh Ave. SW.
“I called 911 and pounded on the door,” he said. “The woman that answered was hysterical and ran back into the house. I yelled at her until she came to where I could see her. She kept saying ‘give me a minute,’ finally I just grabbed her and carried her out.”
At the time Dunwoody removed the woman from the duplex he said the kitchen was engulfed in flames and smoke limited visibility to about 15 feet.
About then police officers arrived followed by the Jamestown Fire Department a few minutes later.
Ruth Urdahl, who owns the property, said the fire caused considerable damage but could have been much worse.
“Thanks to the observation skills of the paper delivery person, the damages were limited,” she said. “Otherwise there could have been three deaths.”
Urdahl said Julie Diede lived in the portion of the duplex affected by the fire. Diede could not be reached for comment. Urdahl declined to name the two people who live in the other side of the duplex.
Dunwoody downplayed the incident.
“It really wasn’t so dramatic,” he said. “It is kind of like all things happen for a reason. If the regular guy had done the route he’d have been there and been gone an hour earlier. I was filling in and it put me at the right place at the right time.”
Management at The Jamestown Sun recognized him for the part he played in reporting the fire and rescuing the individual.
“He’s a nice young man that did a neat thing even if he doesn’t think it’s a big deal,” said Bruce Henke, Sun publisher. “He should be commended for what he did.”
Boyd Anderson, mailroom manager for The Sun, said Dunwoody stepped forward to help the paper when it was short a carrier.
“He’s filling in on a route and he pulls somebody from a burning building,” Anderson said. “That’s pretty special.”
Lt. Sheldon Mohr of the Jamestown Fire Department said no damage estimate was available and the cause of the fire was still under investigation. The department had five units and 27 firefighters on the scene for about 90 minutes Wednesday morning. No injuries were reported.
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at email@example.com