Neighbour entered burning Thompson trailer two days before Christmas and helped drag man to safety

A resident of the Burntwood trailer court disregarded her own safety and entered a trailer on Cree Road that caught fire two days before Christmas, dragging a resident out with the help of an unknown passerby who came to her aid.

Lori Walsh, who lives on Ospwagon Road, was heading out a little after 6 p.m. Dec. 23 when she noticed a lot of smoke in the air and went looking for the location of the fire. 

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“You could tell that there was a pretty significant fire,” she said. “I thought the fire was on Ospwagon.”

She eventually discovered that the blaze was on Cree Road, where she observed a man without shoes throwing handfuls of snow at the building in a vain effort to douse the flames. 

“It was very visible that the trailer was on fire,” Walsh says, with the front door engulfed in flames. She pulled the man back because she was worried for his safety. “He didn’t seem OK,” she said, and had a visible burn on one of his eyelids. He told her that his brother was still in the trailer and she went to the back of the trailer where there was a door open by the back porch.

The first time Walsh went in, she was forced back out by the smoke, but she returned and saw a person.

“I grabbed that person and he wouldn’t leave,” she said.

Walsh dragged him to the doorway but he held onto the frame, refusing to leave. That was when a man in an orange jacket showed up and helped Walsh drag the man out.

Walsh had phoned the fire department prior to entering the trailer and when firefighters arrived, she left the scene and went to the hospital with her husband.

“I could not stop coughing,” she said.

Walsh was at the emergency room for about four or five hours but never saw the men from the trailer come in for treatment.

Her rescue effort was not something she thought about much until afterwards, she said.

“It was just instinct,” Walsh said. “I was shocked at myself. You just kind of react and think about it later. Thank God the guy in the orange jacket came. I couldn’t have done it alone.”

Her fingers  were sore for days afterward from dragging on the man inside so hard, she said. 

The men from the trailer have been on her mind since the incident, Walsh says.

“I wish them well,” she said.

Walsh’s heroics were noted at the Jan. 6 council meeting by Coun. Duncan Wong. Coun. Jeff Fountain suggested the city may want to recognize her in the future for her extraordinary efforts and bravery.

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