Two citizens were awarded commendations from the White Lake Fire Department at the Board of Trustees meeting on March 15.
According to Fire Chief Anthony Maltese, James Rupp and Charles Frost were both honored for preventing a fatality during a fire in the early hours of Jan. 3.
Rupp was returning from work to his apartment located on the 9400 block of Pontiac Lake Road when he decided to check up on his neighbor to see if she was all right.
Through the apartment window, Rupp could see a small fire burning and smoke filling the apartment. After attempting to call his neighbor and failing to get a response, he made two or three attempts to get into the apartment before calling on Frost, his other neighbor, for help.
Once they were in the apartment, then came the difficult task of finding their friend.
“I could only see maybe two or three feet in front of me,” Rupp said. “I couldn’t see if she was on the floor or not.”
Frost was eventually the one who found the unconscious woman slumped in a corner of her bedroom. He took her to his apartment while Rupp called 911.
“Chuck is the real hero. It would’ve been all over within two minutes (if he didn’t find her),” Rupp said.
According to the fire department report, the woman remained unresponsive until Frost gave her two rescue breaths at which point she began responding.
For their heroic efforts, both Rupp and Frost were honored. The commendations applauded both Rupp and Frost for their “alertness and prompt action” that likely prevented the woman’s death.
As for Rupp, he is just happy he could help his friend and that everything turned out all right.
“I just happened to come home at that time, and I just knew I had to help,” Rupp said. “And I was lucky I had help. Chuck was there, and we completed the mission. We were glad we could do that for her because she’s a good friend of ours.”