Firefighters receive Medal of Valor

LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) - A woman in Luzerne County had a chance to thank the firefighters who saved her life.

The firefighters involved in the rescue received a special honor.

The Shavertown Volunteer Firefighters put their lives on the line every day to ensure the safety of the community. Now one woman says shes more than grateful to be alive today thanks to their hard work and bravery.

At first it was just another 4th of July. Then the call came.

"It was the scariest night of my life, I have never been that scared." - "The smoke was so thick, then the fire was breaking into the apartment. I couldn't get out."

Ilalou Warmouth was stuck inside her Dallas home as it was engulfed in flames. As she called 911 and waited for the fire department to arrive, the only safe place she could go was in her bedroom.

"A group went in through a porch window, others went upstairs, that is when we reconvened, found the victim and removed her from the building." said Shavertown Firefighter John Berti, who was involved in the rescue.

"By the time they got in, I was out, I don't remember what happened."

Everyone was excited to reunite and share in the special ceremony in Dallas Township that was held on Saturday.

"I am so thrilled for today, I was trying to figure out how to connect with them. To give them the biggest hug I could give them" said Warmouth. "If it wasn't for them fighting and risking their life to get me, I would not be here with you. I know that."

"As a volunteer I have been here over 26 years. This is my first live victim removal. Everything came together to make a successful save." Berti said.

After being awarded the Medal of Valor, volunteer firefighter Keith Rinehimer says there is only one word to describe the feeling. "Humbling".

After the fire, Warmouth spent several weeks at Lehigh Valley Hospital's burn unit, then spent several weeks more in rehab. Now she is doing out patient therapy to get her arm and leg working again.

Two homes were destroyed by that fire in Dallas. No word yet on what caused it.


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