Russellville firefighters save family while off-duty

WAFF 48's Matthew King reporting
Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 7:22 PM CDT
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RUSSELVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Shane Mansell and Michael Hall said they are proof that firefighters are always ready, no matter the occasion.

Their training was put to the test when both men were off-duty, driving to South Carolina early Tuesday morning. When they were driving through the Massey community in Morgan County, they noticed something was not right.

“The residence was on fire, so I immediately did a u-turn,” Mansell said.

Wearing only street clothes, the two quickly jumped into action and helped a family of five escape the home. They said it all happened in the blink of an eye and they never processed how dangerous the situation could have been.

“I’m pretty sure they didn’t know we were firemen,” Hall said. “They were thinking about things totally differently from us. They were thinking about their house while it was on fire.”

When it was all said and done, the family was safe and the two firemen continued on their trip. When asked if their actions make them heroes, they said it is something that anyone would do in their position.

“It’s just something that we’ve trained and done for twenty years,” Hall said. “It’s second nature. There’s not another fireman who would’ve passed that up.”

“Would the people have gotten out of the house without us? It’s a possibility,” Mansell said. “We did what we felt like we needed it do, so I hope that every fireman who takes the oath of being a fireman would do what we did.”

Despite the dangerous encounter early Tuesday morning, both men still made the drive to South Carolina and were back to work the next day.

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