SASKATOON — Two civilians, Aaron Lange and Mike Napper, have been honoured by the Saskatoon Fire Department for their actions in November 2022.
They were given the Award of Merit on Friday, March 17, at Fire Station 1 for helping to evacuate tenants from a burning home in the 1500 block of 7th Avenue North.
Lange and Napper were commended for their quick actions in checking if people were inside the burning house and their willingness to put their plans on hold to help their neighbours.
SFD Chief Morgan Hackl thanked them for exemplifying the value of community and selflessly caring for their neighbours.
“Their willingness to spontaneously put their morning plans on hold to help their neighbours is a value at the heart of the culture in Saskatoon. We applaud Mike and Aaron for emulating our collective value of community and for selflessly taking care of their neighbours,” said Hackl.
He added that actions taken by ordinary residents of Saskatoon, like Lange and Napper, who went above and beyond to help others, should be celebrated in our community.
‘We are fortunate that Mike and Aaron were at the right place and time. They made some critical decisions that day that saved their neighbours from what could have been a fatal outcome.”
On Thursday, Nov. 17, last year, Napper was driving to his shop when he noticed a fire on the home's exterior.
He saw a car in the driveway, and the lights outside and the basement were turned on, but there was no activity around the house and no one was out. He called 911 to report the fire.
Lange later arrived and helped bang on the door and windows to alert anyone inside the burning house, but no one answered.
They decided to enter the house and discovered tenants in the basement, including one visually impaired person.
Lange and Napper escorted the tenants out of the home and took them to the neighbours for shelter.
SFD dispatch received Napper’s 911 report of flames coming from the back side of the house. Fire crews on the scene saw the home fully involved in the fire.
Firefighters controlled the fire by 4:04 p.m. and continued to extinguish hot spots until 6:40 p.m. The fire caused significant damage to the house, estimated at $350,000.