Couple who helped elderly woman escape house fire come forward

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore.- The couple who helped an elderly woman escape from her burning house have come forward.

As NBC5 News reported Monday, Klamath County Fire District 1 responded to a fully engulfed house fire. Fire Marshal Chad Tramp said a passerby had helped the elderly resident get out of the house, but the person, or persons, who helped her were unknown, until now.

Joe and Gina Gentry were driving back from some errands with their two sons when they saw the house on fire. They say they happened to be in the right place at the right time.

“We pulled into her driveway as fast as we could. Joe jumps out, gets up on the porch and there’s smoke everywhere,” Gina said.

“She had opened the door,” Joe said, “and it fueled it and the moment she opened the door, flames went up.”

Joe says the elderly woman was trying to get an oxygen bottle from behind the door, which prevented her from getting away. He says when he eventually got her out of the house, she was on fire. He luckily walked away with very few injuries.

I’m covered in melt marks from her clothing and her hair, from grabbing the back of her head. I didn’t even realize until Walmart, what, an hour later. My, you know, your adrenaline, kind of, starts to come off and, you know, yeah. I looked down and realized I had sticky stuff all over me.

Once they got the woman out of the house, they drove away from the fire and downed power lines. Joe and Gina say they had the woman in their car with the air conditioning on until an ambulance arrived. A neighbor told them the woman is now recovering in the hospital with family.

Thankfully for all of us here in Southern Oregon, people like Joe and Gina are around.

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NBC5 News Reporter Lauren Pretto grew up in Livermore, California and attended University of California, Santa Cruz, graduating with a double major in Film/Digital Media and Literature with a concentration in Creative Writing. Lauren is a lover of books, especially Agatha Christie and Gothic novels. When her nose isn't buried in a book, she knits, bakes, and writes.
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