National Guardsman rescues residents from 2-alarm fire at South County apartments


by staff

Posted on December 9, 2013 at 7:47 AM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 10 at 8:04 AM

(KMOV) – Authorities say a National Guardsman helped rescue several residents from a two-alarm fire in south St. Louis County early Monday morning.

The fire broke out at an apartment in the 1100 block of Lemay Manor Ln. in Mehlville around 6:15 a.m.

Click here to check out photos of the scene

Dan Reece, a pilot and member of the Air National Guard, was on his way to training when he saw smoke and pulled off the highway to help.

He then started busting through windows to help the people inside, many of whom are disabled and in wheelchairs.

Reece told News 4 he, two other men and a St. Louis County police officer made sure everyone got out of the building safely.

Firefighters arrived moments later and distinguished the blaze.

When asked why he decided to help, Reece said it was just what he was supposed to do.

“In the National Guard, in the Missouri National Guard, we save Americans,” he said. “It’s my job, whether it’s overseas or here, it’s what we do.”

Reece later reiterated he wasn’t a hero, but did what “anybody could do or should do to save someone’s life.”

One man went to the hospital, but everyone was expected to be OK.

The Red Cross posted on its Twitter account disaster volunteers provided food and clothing to an adult affected by the fire.

The cause of the blaze was unknown.