Saving lives part of the job for Youngstown’s first responders

Youngstown's finest are being recognized for the life-saving service

Gertrude Place fire in Youngstown, Ohio.


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Seargent Ed Kenney was driving through the south side of Youngstown Tuesday night looking for a suspect in a robbery that happened a few blocks away, that’s when he saw smoke coming from a house on Gertrude Place.

He pulled in and saw that the porch was on fire. As he ran up to the house, he radioed for help from the fire department.

“By the time I got on the porch, it was really starting to go. I banged on the door and started yelling. At that time the smoke started getting to me. It was a real acrid smell,” Kenney said.

Getting no response from the front, Kenney ran around to the back and was about to kick in that door when other officers arriving at the scene said someone was coming out.

“I ran around the front and the lady said she was sleeping on the couch and nobody else was in the house,” Kenney said.

While the woman didn’t want to appear on camera, she said by phone that she credits the officer with saving her life.

Reports suggest the fire could have easily spread to the rest of the house if not for the firefighters being able to get to the scene quickly and put it out.

Kenney said he is glad he was in the right place at the right time.

“I am very grateful that I was in the area and that we saved her,” Kenney said.

Arson investigators are still looking for a cause.

Members of the Downtown Rotary paid tribute Wednesday to those dedicated to helping everyone stay safe. As part of their regular weekly meeting, the group honored a city police officer and firefighter for their efforts.

Officer Kenneth Garling was nominated for the “Firearms Reduction Award” for his work in 2016 getting illegal guns off the street in his patrol area.

Fire Captain Craig Tershel was recognized for his efforts earlier this month when he talked a man out of suicide.

Organizers said the practice of honoring local safety forces began some time ago but stopped for awhile. The practice was re-established this year.

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