Courtesy of AFN Osan
When a building caught fire this past Friday outside of Osan Air Base, Senior Airman Jordan Thompson and a few airmen and soldiers sprang into action when they were needed the most.
A trip to a South Korea shopping district Sunday turned into a rescue for U.S. service members, who helped a family leap safely from the fourth floor of a burning building.
“We saw a lady shimmying down the side of the building and realized there was a woman holding a baby out of the window several floors up,” 1st Sgt. Melanie Scott of Grosse Ile, Mich., told DVids, a military news website. “The next thing I know we were both holding blankets to catch babies as a woman dropped them out of a window.”
The children a 3 and 4 year-old and a 7-month-old infant – landed on blankets held up by the soldiers and airmen. Their mother, Precious Enyioko, jumped last and suffered minor injuries.
On Tuesday, the family reunited with their rescuers.
“I really appreciate what happened that very day. I don’t know how I can explain my thanks,” said Prince Enyioko, the children’s father, told DVids. “Without them I don’t know what I would do – I am so grateful for the wisdom of the military men and women.”
“My wife was with the children and I was on my way home when I first saw the fire,” Enyioko said. “I tried to help my family but I couldn’t. I was so surprised to see people gathering here to rescue my family especially the military. I felt so helpless.”
Many people may think they know how to respond in an emergency situation but military training provides Soldiers and Airmen with the confidence to react when others might hesitate.
“We had no idea what could have happened. The building could have blown up next to us,” Scott said. “All I needed was to look at the Army Values. They all apply to this situation especially selfless service and courage. Those values give you everything you need to put yourself in harm’s way to help somebody else.”
Enyioko said his wife, Precious, did sustain some injuries but his children ages 7 months, 3 and 4-years-old, all seem to be doing well.
“It was so difficult to drop my children,” Precious Enyioko said. “It was so dark in the room and the kids were coughing and crying. When I saw the people gathering with the blanket, I could see it was military members, I thanked my God.”
Ms. Enyioko got a chance to thank the service members personally for their quick thinking and selfless act as the Airmen and Soldiers visited her at the home of a friend in Songtan.
“The military is so wonderful. I don’t even know what I would have done that day. I am so thankful to the Lord that they are here in Korea,” Precious Enyioko said. “Today I am living and I can tell my story. Me and my husband and my kids, we are so proud of the U.S. military.”
The service members are based at Osan Air Base in South Korea.