Three citizens and a Franklin Police Officer were honored at the City of Franklin Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting on Wednesday for helping a couple escape a house fire on Lewisburg Avenue this summer.
VIDEO: Fast forward to 8:00 minutes to watch the presentation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REkdAP-x6u8.
The house belongs to former Franklin Mayor Lillian Stewart and her husband Boardman Stewart, who escaped the fire unharmed, thanks to the efforts of the honorees.
The Stewarts attended the meeting to help Mayor Ken Moore, Alderman Patrick Baggett, and Fire Chief Glenn Johnson recognize Ilda Aguirre, Michelle Corrales, Sondra Hale, and Franklin Police Deputy Chief J.P. Taylor for their courageous, lifesaving actions on June 14.
On that date, just before 8 AM, Ilda Aguirre and Sondra Hale were in separate vehicles driving on Lewisburg Avenue at around the same time when they noticed that the exterior of a two-story, historic home was on fire. Both immediately stopped, called 911, and jumped out to help – banging on the door and yelling to alert anyone who might be inside of the danger. Shortly thereafter, Michelle Corrales also drove by, saw the fire, and stopped to help. Learning that others had already called 911, despite heavy smoke and fire on the outside of the home, without protective gear, and without regard for her own personal safety, Ms. Corrales entered the house to search for occupants.
She found Boardman Stewart downstairs. He told her that his wife was upstairs. Without hesitation, Corrales raced up the stairs to alert Lillian Stewart to the danger.
Meanwhile, Franklin Police Deputy Chief JP Taylor heard the call dispatched and responded. He was the first emergency responder to arrive on the scene. Taylor also entered the home without protective gear and without regard for his own personal safety to search for occupants. As Corrales helped Mrs. Stewart down the stairs, they found Taylor assisting Mr. Stewart.
All four escaped the home unharmed.
Franklin Fire Chief Glenn Johnson said, “All of these individuals are true heroes. Ms. Corrales, Ms. Aguirre, and Ms. Hale are Good Samaritans who didn’t know the Stewarts or each other. They simply saw a great need, believed others to be in danger, and acted.”
He presented Aguirre, Corrales, and Hale with the Civilian Lifesaving Award. Taylor received the Fire Chief’s Award.