DAVENPORT, Iowa — Two roofing contractors received recognition from the Davenport Fire Department for their roles in saving four teenagers from a house fire last month.
The Quad-City Times reports that roofing contractors Anthony Buckley of Haan Roofing & Construction and Anthony English of A+ Roofing & Siding were driving though the neighborhood on July 3 when, independent of each other, noticed black smoke coming from a house. They were among the first to arrive at the scene, so they pulled ladders from their trucks to assist Davenport police officers in rescuing three teenage girls from a second-story window.
"There were no fire trucks or anything else, so I immediately rolled over there and asked (the police) 'Hey, do you need a ladder?'" Buckley told RC. "He said 'Yeah,' so we pulled it out of the back of my truck as fast as we could and set it up."
As police officers rushed up the ladder to help the girls reach safety, according to ABC-affiliated WQAD, English went to the west side of the home and helped the girls’ brother climb out of a separate window using a ladder from his truck.
“The smoke was just blinding him. I mean, it was gasping me just trying to help him out the window,” English told WQAD.
Fire department personnel arrived on the scene shortly thereafter to put out the fire, and wearing the proper protective gear, were able to save one of the family’s dogs. Sadly, they were unable to save a second family dog. Quad-City reports all four young adults were treated on scene by emergency personnel, and none were taken to the hospital.
Buckley said due to a large hailstorm that hit the area in the spring, he and English just happened to be driving around in the area at the time, but were glad they were on hand to help.
"What was more wild was the guy's first name was Anthony as well...and he was another roofing contractor," Buckley said with a laugh.
In all, 10 Davenport police officers and both Buckley and English were honored during a Davenport City Council meeting held on Wednesday. Along with praises from the fire department, city officials played a video recorded by the teens that thanked everyone for their heroic acts, saying they’re healthy and beginning their college careers.
“The efforts of all of these police officers and members of our community prevented a potential tragedy,” Davenport Fire Chief Mike Carlsten said during the meeting. “These individuals we are recognizing this evening put the need of others first. They worked as a coordinated team to overcome some unique and unprecedented challenges. And some of their actions were heroic.”
As grateful as the contractors are for the recognition, they downplayed their roles in the rescue.
“Honestly, I was just trying to help'em out," Buckley told RC. "You see some kids hanging outside of a window and you think of your own kids."