Firefighters Honored for Saving Woman from Fire

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LEHMAN TOWNSHIP -- A smile and a handshake between a woman who was trapped while a fire raged around her and members of the Shavertown firefighters who rescued her in Luzerne County.

This ceremony at Penn State Wilkes-Barre campus was all about honoring their heroism.

Ilalou Warmouth says she was asleep when a massive fire broke out back in July.

“It was the scariest night of my life. I have never been that scared ever. I was trapped inside and I could not get out,” Warmouth said.

Keith Rinehimer was one of five the firefighters who rushed into the burning home in Dallas to rescue Warmouth, who became trapped in her bedroom.

“We made our way to the second floor and me and my partner found her and started dragging her out, and the rest of the crew came out and got her out safely. The rest is history,” said Rinehimer.

Rinehimer along with Assistant Chief Erik Sowga, Captain David Rinehimer, John Berti, and Ted Sherrill were all honored with Medals of Valor and certificates.

The medals are the highest honor for first responders and are equal to the United States military Medal of Honor.

“We are just happy there was a happy outcome. It doesn't happen very often, so when a thing like this happens, it's a wonderful thing,” said Rinehimer.

Warmouth tells Newswatch 16 she was really excited to meet the men who rescued her and finally have a chance to say thank you.

“It was wonderful to see them again. I mean, if it wasn’t for them risking their life, I would not be standing here.”

Shavertown Fire Chief Gary Beisel hopes this sets an example for future firefighters.

“To show what they are willing to do and the circumstances just shows the community the dedication and the selflessness of what they do,” said Chief Beisel.

As for Warmouth, she's still recovering from burns but is happy to tell her story because of the brave members of the Shavertown Volunteer Fire Department.

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