Missouri Firefighters Honored for Rescuing Unconscious Girl from House Fire

Three Missouri firefighters were recently honored for their heroic rescue of an unconscious ten-year-old girl during a roaring house fire in January.

The three heroes — Captain Mark Mallet and firefighters Evan Busen and Nick Arcenaut — with the Lee Summit Fire Department (LSFD) received the Medal of Valor at an award ceremony on April 9 for their rescue, according to the LSFD’s Facebook video of the event.

Company One responded to the raging house fire on January 18, LSFD Deputy Chief Arby Todd said at the ceremony. Ten-year-old Journey McAfee had called 911 from inside the house to report her sister had made it out but was unable to escape herself, WDAF-TV noted.

The three firefighters attacked the fire with hose lines after entering through the front door as they frantically searched for the ten-year-old in the smoke-filled residence.

“We got inside, there was heavy smoke, heavy heat couldn’t see anything but went ahead and did our search patterns,” Mallet told WDAF-TV. 

“Company One searched the structure and located the victim in the second room and made a rapid decision for one member of their team to grab the unconscious victim and run out of the house,” Todd said at the ceremony. “Once outside, the Company One member handed the victim off to another member of the department for rapid transport.”

Personnel rendered aid on the way to the hospital, and Journey has since made a full recovery, according to WDAF-TV. The firefighter paramedics who brought her to the hospital received awards, in addition to the dispatchers who worked the incident.

While bestowing the awards, Todd said:

For extraordinary heroism and actions in a hazardous environment, Captain Mark Mallet, Firefighter Evan Busen and Firefighter Nick Acrenaut’s valor and stamina in the face of an imminent danger reflect great credit upon themselves, the Lee Summit Fire Department, the City of Lee Summit, they are therefore awarded the Medal of Valor, the highest honor at the Lee Summit Fire Department.

“I respect them because if they are risking their lives to save others, that means both them and the other person could die too,” Journey said, according to WDAF-TV. 

Her mother, Jennifer, expressed her immense gratitude to all the firefighters and first responders who helped save her child. 

“It doesn’t really sink in at this age what they did for her, but I of course know what they did. So I think they deserve the medal of valor every year for the rest of our lives,” she said, per WDAF-TV.


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