“I noticed like really dark smoke and I thought, ‘oh someones just burning something they’re not supposed to,'” Bruton said.
As he continued driving towards the house, he noticed the smoke was actually coming from behind the front door. That’s when he and a neighbor ran in to help.
“There was a little old lady kind of laying really close to the flames,” Bruton said. “He grabbed her under the arms, I grabbed her under the legs and proceeded to take her down the steps.”
As the men got the woman out of the house another man, Crater High School senior, Tyler Chapman, pulled over to assist.
“I jumped in to help pull her off the porch and on to the grass away from the fire,” Chapman said.
Once the woman was out safely, Bruton went back into the burning home to make sure there wasn’t anyone left inside.
“I crawled into the house a little bit, yelling if there was anybody else in there until the flames were a little bit too hot,” Bruton said.
Fire officials say the three men saved the woman’s life.
“The environment in which she was found is not conducive to life and if they had not removed her from the house and the porch, she would’ve passed,” Deputy Fire Marshal, Mark Northrop, with Fire District 3 said.
The men’s efforts didn’t go unnoticed. On August 16th, a little over a month after the fire, Fire District 3 honored the good samaritans.
“They gave us some awards and told us what a good job we did,” Bruton said.
Both men said that while they appreciate the recognition, they didn’t run toward the flames for the credit.
“I just did what anyone else would want to do and be a citizen that would help anybody that was in danger,” Chapman said.
For Bruton, saving the woman’s life is now changing his life. The experience revealed he was meant for something else in life.
“[Fire District 3] wants to sponsor me through the fire academy,” Bruton said. “I’m going to make a career change.”
According to Fire District 3, the fire was started from discarded smoking materials.
She is still receiving treatment and surgeries for her burns in Portland.
Blakely McHugh is a weather forecaster and reporter for NBC5 News. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Blakely is a native of San Diego, CA.
Blakely is excited to be in southern Oregon, a place that gets all the seasons and has similar temperatures to Arizona in the summer! When she’s not at work, you can find her relaxing at home watching TV and cuddling with her cat, Dallas. She also enjoys trying new places to eat and exploring the outdoors.
Blakely loves meeting new people so if you see her out and about, say “Hi!”