Mark Pierce helped rescue Lori R. Walker from burning, Heber City, Utah, February 15, 2019. Walker, 37, arriving at her family’s vacation home with her children, smelled a strong odor of propane gas outside the home and entered to investigate. As Walker entered the basement a powerful explosion occurred, during which she was pinned by a collapsed floor and debris. A neighbor, who was an off-duty firefighter, responded and entered the log home to search for Walker. Not finding Walker, but hearing her call for help from below him, the firefighter exited the garage, as the home’s upper floors began to burn. Two neighbors, Pierce, 50, river guide, and a general contractor, had, by then, also responded to the scene. The men waded through deep snow to the rear of the structure where the contractor and Pierce entered a blown out window opening to access the darkened basement. Guided only by their cellphone flashlights, Pierce and the contractor searched for Walker, who was ultimately discovered beneath debris. By then flames had grown and spread to engulf the floors above them and fiery debris fell into the basement. Joined by the firefighter amid deteriorating conditions and working together, Pierce, the firefighter and the contractor removed debris, freeing Walker’s foot and allowing Pierce to pull her free. After Pierce and the contractor aided Walker into an upright position, the firefighter placed Walker over his shoulder, and carried her back through the heavily damaged basement to the window opening, following Pierce and the contractor. Walker was removed through the window opening and the men, using Pierce’s coat as a sling to carry her, moved Walker through the deep snow to arriving firefighters and paramedics. The home was shortly engulfed by flames. Walker was treated at a hospital for burns to about one third of her body, broken bones, and serious injuries to her right leg and ankle; she continued to recover. Pierce and the contractor received oxygen at the scene but were not otherwise injured and recovered.
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