Volunteer Firefighter Rescues Two on Way to Work

Updated: November 26, 2019 06:24 PM

A volunteer firefighter's quick actions are being credited for preventing deaths in a house fire Tuesday morning in Rice Lake, Minnesota.


The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office says the Normanna Township firefighter, Ryan Linn, was on his way to work just after 6 a.m. when he noticed flames coming from the residence on Martin Road.  

Linn found one male standing outside and learned two other males were still inside. The three men were ages 56, 59 and 76. 

One of the men was just inside the doorway.  The other, a double leg amputee, was deeper inside the residence, and Linn carried him out as smoke began to fill the house.

Linn declined to do an on-camera interview, but told WDIO over the phone that he belly-crawled in. There was so much smoke he couldn't see anything or breathe. He touched skin, and grabbed a hold of the man. "My training kicked in. I just wanted to help," he said.

"Linn's bravery and quick actions, undoubtedly saved the lives of one if not both of the men that were still in the residence when he stopped," Sgt. Brandon Silgjord of the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office said in a news release.

The two males rescued from the home were taken to hospitals to be treated for smoke inhalation.  They are expected to make full recoveries.

The sheriff's office says the home was being heated by portable propane heaters not intended for indoor use.  The office said the heaters are believed to be the probable cause of the fire, though they are working with the State Fire Marshal's Office to confirm the exact cause.

The residence is considered a total loss.

Linn got checked out for minor smoke inhalation. He said he's been on the Normanna department for four years.

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