SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — It was a heroic effort. Firefighters ran into a burning home to rescue a family, carrying them out one by one administering CPR and rushing them to the hospital.
Three weeks later the father and and step daughter saved in that blaze came by the Santa Ana fire station to say thank you.
Tom McIntosh and Rebecca Cesario walked down the line, shaking hands, giving hugs and getting answers. McIntosh just got out of the hospital and he remembers very little.
“Meet the people who saved my life,” McIntosh said. “You may have never found me.”
“You literally had one leg sticking out behind a bed.” one of the firemen told him.
“I woke up, I heard the crackling of the fire. The crackling, crackling crackling, I opened my door and it’s all smoke,” McIntosh said.
Both were overcome by smoke but Cesario remembers something else. Her mother Patricia McIntosh was also pulled from the burning home but she didn’t survive.
“I was trying to get in the hallway but then I passed out, that’s all I remember,” Cesario said.
Despite their loss they felt it was important to meet the firefighters from the Orange County Fire Authority and Garden Grove Fire Department that responded that night.
“Usually we just hear about it. To actually meet the people that we’ve saved it’s a special experience, makes it worth the whole job,” Capt. Derek Biering, of the Orange County Fire Authority.
Although investigators still don’t have an official cause of the fire they do know smoke detectors inside the home were not working — a lesson for us all.
“I literally went home the next morning and made sure my smoke detectors worked then went to my mother’s house and did the same thing,” Capt. Mark Weiss, of the Garden Grove Fire Department, said.
McIntosh lost everything in the fire including his wife… He spent 18 days in a coma and suffered burns all over his body but he is thankful to be here.
He just wishes the alarm would have sounded so his family could have maybe had the time to get out on their own.
“Check em. check them the best you can if they don’t work, get new ones.” McIntosh said.