Portland dad saves family from apartment fire

PORTLAND, Ore. (KATU/CNN) – An Oregon man loses everything in a fire just a few days before Christmas. But he is voicing relief now after saving his whole family in a dramatic rescue.

Alan Gebhart said when the alarm first went off, he saw smoke in the hallway and planned to get out as fast as possible.

The father got ready to leave with his family but realized they were running out of options.

Gebhart explained, “We ended up going back to the front door. I didn’t get it open a good 13/14 inches before the whole living room was engulfed in black smoke. It started barreling in like hell hounds.”

That’s when Gebhart resorted to plan B. “Got my family to the window and after we got to the window I jumped down onto the electrical box,” he said. “As you can see it’s kind of torn up now. She lowered my son. His name is Dakota, 5 months old.”

The father then carried down his 3-year-old daughter, as well as his cat and dog.

Neighbor Gene Russell captured it on camera while watching the family find safety. He said, “My heart just broke for this family. These people are nothing but kind? He’s a hard worker, this guy has a great job, he takes care of his family. I’ll tell you what man, he was a hero the other day when he jumped up into that window.”

Gebhart said his girlfriend was the last person to get out of the apartment. He said, “She was hanging out the window and I climbed on top of her to be able to get down. I thought she was going to fall honestly, I really did. I climbed on top of her, over her as she was hanging down, and I got down to there, jumped down to here, and that’s when the fireman and I worked together and she dropped in our arms.”

The family lost all their things due to smoke damage. They moved out of the complex and hope for a fresh start in the New Year.


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