Jackson Co. deputies open up about rescue effort at Lemoyne Assi - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Jackson Co. deputies open up about rescue effort at Lemoyne Assisted living home

Deputies recall helping save lives a an assisted living complex that caught fire. (Photo source: WLOX News) Deputies recall helping save lives a an assisted living complex that caught fire. (Photo source: WLOX News)
JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

Two Jackson County elderly assisted living patients are recovering in the hospital and in stable condition following a fire that forced the evacuation of 36 residents just before 4:00 a.m. Monday at Lemoyne Place in St. Martin. Five Sheriff's deputies are credited with helping bring them to safety.

"They showed great initiative and reaction and they did what they were supposed to do in times like that," said Capt. Mick Sears, a Jackson County Sheriff's Deputy. "You don't really think, you just do what you have to do."

What Capt. Mick Sears and his team of deputies had to do when they first arrived on the scene was rush in, unprotected into the assisted living home filled with smoke.

"There was a lot of smoke, of course a lot of water from the sprinklers. It was just instinct," said Sears. "We went room to room and made sure all the patients were cleared out."

While breathing smoke, the deputies managed to evacuate 36 patients out of the two story facility. A third of those patients had to be physically carried out.

"Most of them are on oxygen and have bad lungs and that smoke could be really detrimental to their health if we had not got them out of there," said Sears.

Once the smoke cleared the residents were able to return to their rooms after spending about an hour outside. For Capt. Sears, that was a shift he won't soon forget.

"I've been here for over 29 years and this is probably one of the most satisfying mornings that I've went home from," said Sears.

Lt. Robert Blocker, Ian Pehnke, David Lawson and Chris Pitalo joined Sears in the rescue effort. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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