NEVADA, Iowa--A group of first responders is being credited for saving the life of a Nevada man.
“They`re very reliable, and they`re very humble and I don`t use the word hero very often but clearly they`re heroes,” says Nevada Director of Fire & EMS Ray Reynolds.
Nevada firefighters and emergency responders were called to an apartment fire on Thursday morning at 919 6th Street.
As they were sweeping through the building to make sure everyone was out they found a man trapped in his apartment.
Ofc. Chris Brandes from the Nevada Police Department was the first on the scene.
“I went to the apartment, I didn't see smoke from the outside of the building so we went in the first floor and there was smoke in the hallway. Couldn't find the source of the fire so we started knocking on doors to get the residents out,” says Ofc. Brandes.
Ofc. Brandes said he continued to check the individual apartments he found an open door and said smoke and heat were radiating from the unit.
“We could hear a voice inside so we tried to get him to come to us, and he said he couldn't so I crawled in and tried to get a hold of him and grabbed him and was pulling on him and he resisted a little bit and at that point I went back out to get more air,” says Ofc. Brandes.
Overcome with smoke, Ofc. Brandes backed away just as Lt. Brad Melton and a team of firefighters were arriving on the scene.
“When we got on the scene, Captain Melton was standing at the door saying they had a victim inside. By the time we rolled on scene smoke was rolling out the windows pretty good,” says Lt. Melton.
Lt. Melton already had his oxygen mask on and was able to get in the burning apartment right away and find the resident, 53 year old Greg Krambeck, inside the unit.
“I ran inside and Ofc. Brandes was kneeling at the door he told me where he was at so I went in and grabbed him and pulled him out,” says Lt. Melton.
Officials say Krambeck was taken by ambulance to the hospital and later transferred to Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines.
He’s currently listed in critical condition.
Reynolds says rescues are not that common.
He said luckily in this case everything lined up perfectly and his team did exactly what they were trained to do.
“His was a very intense fire it had a lot of heat and smoke and I can tell you a lot of folks on scene can tell you had there been even the smallest of delay I’m not sure that this tenant would still be alive,” says Reynolds.
The fire remains under investigation.