MERIDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Three good Samaritans and several Meriden firefighters were recognized Monday night for saving a family from a burning home last month.
The fire happened at a home on Broad Street on Jan. 21. The homeowner, Shaniqua Brown, was away on vacation when she saw her house was on fire through her doorbell camera app.
5 injured, including 4 firefighters in Meriden house fire
“Words can’t express how much fear I had in me when I saw the smoke coming from my home and knowing my family was inside,” Brown said. “It’s okay that my house is gone. My family is here, my daughter standing next to me, my mom, my brother, my son. That’s more than enough for me.”
Bill Lombardi was across the street at the car wash when he rushed over.
“I knew there were people in the house and I was just banging on their door trying to alert them that their house is on fire and get them out,” Lombardi said.
Two plumbers, Dylan Saradeth and Jim Sadlowski broke down the door with a pipe wrench and ran inside.
“At that point, the fire was already billowing halfway through the living room, and the whole second floor was encased in smoke,” Saradeth said. “So I am happy to see this kid survived. Being in the situation, I definitely did not think that he would be walking, going to school.”
Monique Jones and her two grandchildren children made it out safely but her son,17-year-old Mekhi McLean was unconscious upstairs. He was in a burn unit for days but he has mostly recovered.
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Two firefighters, David Waskowicz and Shane Henion, used a ladder to pull him out. They said their training and thoughts of their own families kicked in.
“I know how it is to have a family and that’s my most important part of my life and that’s the most important part of their life,” Waskowicz said.
The good Samaritans and members of Meriden Fire Department Group 2 who responded that night were given the Spirit of Meriden Award.
The good Samaritans each received a day of dedicator in their honor in the city of Meriden. Feb. 7 will be Bob Lombardi Day, Feb 8. will be Dylan Saradeth Day and Feb. 9 will now be Jim Sadlowski Day.
They were also recognized by state officials but above all, they received the gratitude of a family, thankful to be alive.
“If it wasn’t for the neighbors, police, the firemen, I don’t know where we would be,” Jones said.
Four firefighters were injured but are expected to recover and return to work soon. The cause of the fire is under investigation.