Neighbor, first responders recognized for saving man from burning Abington home

Neighbor, first responders recognized for saving man from burning Abington home

ABINGTON, Mass. — A neighbor, two police officers and a firefighter were honored for pulling a man from a burning home in Abington last month.

During a Board of Selectmen meeting Monday night, Abington Fire Chief John Nuttall presented Kurt Knepshield, Police Sergeant Mark Kilgour, Officer Shawn Kelly and Firefighter/Paramedic Ryan Amado with Letters of Excellence for their heroic actions on the evening of June 18.

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Nuttall said Knepshield, who lives across the street from the home on Plymouth Street, made sure 911 was called and then rushed to investigate. He was met by a one of the residents who was close to being outside the home. The resident informed him another person was still inside.

Knepshield immediately went into the house, up the stairs to the second floor and began to rescue the trapped victim, who had been overcome with smoke and was unconscious.

Kelly was next to arrive at the scene. He immediately rushed into the home to help Knepshield. Neither man had any protective gear or firefighting training. They battled heavy heat, thick smoke and fierce flames in the old New England farmhouse as they grabbed the victim and brought him down the stairs to safety.

Kilgour then arrived and helped Knepshield and Kelly get the victim outside.

“The actions of you three gentlemen unquestionably saved his life,” Nuttall told the trio.

Amado then showed up on a fire engine and helped place the victim on the front lawn. He began CPR and other life-saving efforts on his own.

The victim was transferred to an ambulance, staffed with firefighters from Whitman, Abington and Rockland. Nuttall said a fire chief from a neighboring town, who was also at the scene, told him it was one of the best examples of life-saving care he’d ever seen.

State Senator John Keenan and State Representative Alyson Sullivan also presented the four men with citations during Monday night’s meeting.

“They responded with courage and heroism and they saved a life which is truly remarkable,” Keenan said.

The victim suffered severe injuries and has a long road to recovery ahead of him. His family was present for the presentations.

“It’s the actions of everyone here and all the other medical professionals who are still caring for him that afforded him that chance to make a recovery,” Nuttall said.