On Tuesday, November 3, Joe McClosky, Senior Business Management major and member of the Bass Fishing team, helped rescue Barbara Mitchell of McKenzie from her burning apartment at 115 Reynolds Street.
McClosky was walking to his mailbox around 11 a.m. and noticed smoke coming from a neighbor’s apartment. Instinct kicked in, and he ran towards the home. Another person close by called 911 while McClosky went to see if anyone was inside.
“I opened the door yelling to see if there was anybody in there, and I heard a lady inside,” McClosky said. “I pulled my shirt over my face and went in.”
After searching for a little bit and not able to find her, he went back outside to get a breath of air. He quickly decided to go back inside.
McClosky said, “I pulled my shirt back up over my face and went back in and found her near the kitchen. I grabbed her by the arm and helped her outside.”
Shortly afterwards, the McKenzie Fire Department arrived. Bethel alumi and Battalion Chief Jason Arnold of the McKenzie Fire Department commended McClosky for his actions.
“Joe rescued this woman from a burning apartment and I would like to commend him for a job well done,” said Arnold. “He most definitely showed courage and bravery.”
McClosky said he knew he had two options—just stand there or do something.
“I did what I felt I needed to do. I was in the right place at the right time. God put me there for a reason, that’s for sure,” said McClosky.