Two men to be honored for saving neighbor from Clermont house fire

Two South Lake County men are credited with saving a man’s life after rescuing the 60-year-old resident from a house fire in Clermont, a news release states.

Shortly before 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Brian Walker, of Minneola, was driving into a mobile home park on Hooks Street to meet his friend, Chris Desmond. Brian noticed heavy smoke coming from one of the residences a few doors away, alerted Chris, and they raced to the smoke-filled home.

“The smoke was so thick that at first I couldn’t see anyone,” Chris says in the release.

Chris Desmond // Photo by city of Clermont

Chris saw his unconscious neighbor in a chair that had a lit cigarette on it. The men carried the neighbor out and then Chris tried to douse the fire with water.

“We were coughing our lungs up,” Chris says.

Clermont Fire Department and Lake County Fire Rescue personnel responded and determined that the fire had started from the lit cigarette, the release states. No working smoke alarms were found in the home. (continued below)

The unidentified resident was transported to South Lake Hospital for treatment. No emergency personnel were injured, and the fire was contained to the single residence, the release states.

“Without the quick actions of these two men, the situation could have been catastrophic,” interim Fire Marshal Jennifer Pierce says.

“I commend them for their courageous efforts,” adds Fire Chief Carle Bishop, who says the men will be honored with a ceremony in the near future.