IOWA FALLS – Six Ellsworth Community College students, including two women's basketball players, are credited with saving the lives of two Iowa Falls residents and their pets during a house fire near campus the evening of Thursday, Sept. 5. One firefighter was reportedly injured and significant damage was done to the front of the home before the blaze was extinguished about three hours later.
The ECC student heroes are Albany Bradford, a Nursing major; Zerina Hamilton, a Psychology major; Kiara Harvey, an Engineering major and basketball player; Dustin Moore, a Conservation Technology major; Justice Thigpen, a Pre-Medicine major and basketball player; and Sequoia Weathers, a Criminal Justice major. Bradford, Hamilton and Weathers are from Milwaukee, WI, Thigpen and Harvey are from Florida, and Moore is from Prairie City, IA.
The students reported that Albany wanted to go for a short, late-night walk that evening and invited the other girls to go along. As they walked near campus, they saw the fire, which they thought at first was a bonfire. When they got closer and realized the front of the house was on fire they started banging on the doors of the home, yelling to wake the owners, and called 911.
Dustin, who was nearby at the ECC College Apartments, saw the girls and then the fire. The girls credit Dustin with entering the house, where he found the two homeowners and three dogs, who did not realize the front of the home was on fire. They were able to exit safely before firefighters arrived on the scene.
All six students are modest about their hair-raising experience, saying they're just glad the homeowners and pets were able to get out safely. Although they hope never to find themselves in that kind of situation again, they said they were pleased to be able to help.
ECC Criminal Justice Professor Mike Emerson said that a local sheriff's deputy informed him the next day that the ECC students had done an outstanding job, no doubt saving lives.
PHOTO CAPTION: The six ECC student-heroes are pictured in front of the home from which they rescued two residents and three pets during a fire last week. The students are, from left, Kiara Harvey of Tallahassee, FL; Sequoia Weathers, Albany Bradford, and Zerina Hamilton, all of Milwaukee, WI; Justice Thigpen of Tampa, FL; and Dustin Moore of Prairie City, IA.