Superior man who escaped from a fire recalls time he helped rescue a family from one

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Garrett Franks is still waiting to get into his Superior apartment again after a fire tore through his building last month.

“My daughter woke me up, and she’s my hero for getting us out of there,” he remembered.

Someone told him about the Red Cross, and how they were helping out people displaced from the Nottingham Apartments.

So he went to UWS, which is where they had staged, and was immediately so grateful for their assistance. “It was amazing. They were so welcoming. I started tearing up,” he said.

His mother reminded him that he once received an award from the Red Cross for helping a woman and several kids escape a fire in Duluth. It was more than 20 years ago.

“I put my back against this tree, and used my feet to shimmy up the wall of the house. And helped get these kids down. Then the woman fell on top of me, and we dropped two stories down,” he said.

Franks worked with a volunteer caseworker through the more recent fire. Her name is Theresa Bobula. The story about his rescue decades ago came up.

“He mentioned it, super casual, and I was like wow that’s a big deal,” Bobula said. “To be on both ends of a fire situation.”

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The Red Cross has helped at 133 fires in the past year.