Firefighters share story of Waterloo fire rescue - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Firefighters share story of Waterloo fire rescue

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -- Firefighters are sharing their side of an amazing rescue at an Eastern Iowa home. Just after midnight Wednesday morning, they responded to a blaze at 519 Courtland Street.

Most of the Engle's family living in the home made it out, but the five and six year old daughters were still trapped in the burning house.

"As soon as we turned the corner down here, we knew we were headed for something," said firefighter Kerry Burt.

"It appeared the house was engulfed in flames," added Lt. Larry Nading.

The front of the house was burning, but the real emergency was in the back. That's where the Engle's five and six year old daughters sleep.

"The, we believe it was the father, was saying they were in one of the rooms in the back," said Burt.

Burt was in the first team of responders who rushed around the back of the building and busted through the girls' bedroom window. They were immediately faced with a room full of smoke and soot. That's when their hours of training kicked in.

"You reach in, you feel, and I caught, I believe it was the younger child. When I picked her up I heard her gasp," said Burt

While firefighters got that the girl to safety, the second team of rescuers continued their search.

"It was shortly after that, or about that same time, that myself and another firefighter noticed a foot sticking out from underneath the blanket on the bed. And so, grabbed that foot, and found the little girl attached to it. And I swept her up and carried her down the steps and out the front door," said Nading.

Six firefighters are now receiving the glory, but they're quick to point out, they responded as a team.

"It's not a one person operation. It takes an entire department working together and everybody doing what their job is. There were a lot of people there whose names won't come up in this, and their pictures won't be on the news or in the paper. But without those people the outcome wouldn't have been the same. Because it takes all of us to get a job like that done. Nobody can do it alone," Nading said.

Investigators can't say, at this point, what caused the fire. They do tell us it was not a total loss.

Online Reporter Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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