Polk Fire battalion chief sees smoke in neighborhood, jumps into action

A Polk County Fire Rescue Battalion Chief is being recognized for his quick thinking, which may have saved the lives of an elderly couple trying to escape their burning home.

Brian Golden was making the rounds Wednesday around 5 p.m., driving from the Polk City Station to Providence, when he noticed smoke and flames coming from inside the Mt. Olive Shores North neighborhood.

"Upon pulling up to the house, he noticed there were two individuals trying to exit the structure. [He] went, helped them get to safety,” said PCFR spokesperson Chris Jonckheer.

After radioing for backup, Golden helped usher a third person to safety, all before the first 911 call was even placed.

“He’s especially proud he could help those individuals at that point in time,” said Jonckheer.

In the end, three homes were destroyed by the two-alarm fire. PCFR officials think it started in the attic of the middle home and spread to houses on either side. 

A fourth house had heat damage.

Fortunately, nobody was hurt.

“If the battalion chief didn’t get there and call in the fire when he did… it would've been a much worse situation,” said Jonckheer.