Tragedy struck Monday evening when a fire broke out at the Garden Terrace Assisted Living retirement apartments. One woman died as a result of her injuries suffered in the fire and another person died of an apparent heart attack due to the stress of the evacuation.
Tragedy as it was, I believe a major catastrophe was averted due to the quick thinking and heroic efforts of some young passers-by.
19 year old Mitch Torel, forward of the Wenatchee Wild Hockey team was driving home past the apartment building when he saw flames on the inside of one of the apartments. He called 911 and then ran into the building to pull the fire alarm.
"I ran up a couple of floors and started pounding on doors, trying to alert the residents." Torel said. " Some people needed help getting down the stairs because of their medical conditions and I tried to get them down the stairs as best I could."
Soon he said emergency crews arrived and helped the young man go door to door.
When he was asked if he was nervous he replied. "No not really, you don't have time to be nervous. I was just making sure everyone got out safe."
Mitch who is from Monticello Minnesota lives with Mike and Bets Harris of Wenatchee during The Wild Hockey season. His stay is also extended because The Wild made the Play-Offs.
It was also reported that a couple of young 14 year olds were passing by as well. Dahlton and his friend Dylan also called 911 when they saw the flames. They too made the heroic decision to go inside to help evacuate the residents.
"They were all just sitting there eating and the fire alarm was off." Dylann said. "They thought it was a fire drill or something. I said it was real and you guys need to get out."
As I said due to the heroic efforts of these unselfish young men a major catastrophe was averted.