“I just jumped out the car without the crutches. I left the crutches inside the car and I went hobbling over here,” said Patterson. He has sickle cell anemia and needs hip surgery but that didn’t stop him.
The two men each took a floor. Patterson said, “He runs in, I run in, and we just tried to get everyone out.” Patterson even carried a child out in his arms with the family behind him.
Bremerton Police Department Sergeant Kelly Meade said, “I saw a wave of flames coming from the upper balcony here on the north side that just rolled right on down and actually I lost sight of him in the smoke and the heat.”
Sgt. Kelly Meade said he pulled up and saw Patterson, “He was running up the stairs, he was calling out for people to come out of the building.” But they couldn’t get to the third floor where a hard-of-hearing elderly woman was trapped in her apartment.
The heat from the fire was so intense, glass was breaking and smoke was everywhere. Patterson said, “Started throwing apples at the window trying to get her attention.”
It worked. She was inside worried about her cats but they talked her into climbing out the window. She held onto the edge and then dropped from three stories up.
Sgt. Meade said, “My partner and I and there was an off duty fireman, we tried to catch her to break her fall and she only sustained some minor injuries.”
The quick actions of those first responders, and especially Patterson, earning the highest praise from Bremerton’s top cop. Bremerton Police Chief Steve Strachan said, “Sounds like a hero to me, put into an unusual situation and he’s able to step up and we’re really, really proud of what he did.”