Airmen save Soldier from gas fire

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Emily F. Alley
  • 451st Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
Two Airmen from the 466th Air Expeditionary Wing flightline security office saved a Solider from a gasoline fire May 26 here.

Two members of the flightline security team had driven to a base gas station to refuel their truck.

Staff Sgt. Alicia Estes was pumping the gas when Senior Airman Kourtlyn Stafford yelled that he saw a fire. They rushed to the flames -- Airman Stafford to the truck and Sergeant Estes to the Soldier lying on the ground. Onlookers were trying to put out the fire by beating it with their shirts.

"They were smacking him with blouses, dousing him with a fire extinguisher," said Sergeant Estes.

Sergeant Estes said was concerned because the blouses seemed to only fan the flames more, and she didn't want to suffocate the man with the fire extinguisher. She took a blouse from a nearby Soldier and laid it over the fire, which stifled it. It singed her uniform and left black burn marks on her red flightline security arm band. Finally, she treated the victim for shock.

An ambulance arrived and transported the Soldier to the KAF hospital.

Meanwhile, Airman Stafford managed to extinguish the fire near the Army vehicle. 

Officials said the fire had been caused by a spark from static buildup. The fire was near the truck's fuel bladder and Airman Stafford managed to stop it before it spread.

"The whole compound could have blown up. That's the scariest thing," Sergeant Estes said.

The two completed training on both how to use fire extinguishers as well as combat-lifesaver skills. Sergeant Estes also had a background as a self-aid and buddy care instructor, so she knew how to treat the Soldier's third-degree burns.

Tech. Sgt. Michael Munyon, the flightline security supervisor, said the Airmen's initiative and caliber of heroism was not surprising.

"We were just there," Sergeant Stafford said. "Somebody needed help."