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5 Alarm Heroes: Firefighters rush into burning building without gear

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OGDEN — On October 16, 2011, a fast-moving fire at a Salt Lake City apartment complex forced dozens of people into the street. Everyone made it out alive because of two Ogden firefighters.

One of them, Ashley Phillips, said, "I think more than anything we were just trying to do the right thing."

Phillips and his partner, Scott Kidman, were working as paramedics that night and had just transported a child to Primary Children's Medical Center. They were on their way home when they spotted flames coming from the roof of the building.

Kidman said, "People are right under the fire looking at the fire, seeing stuff fall at their feet. So we know this is a dangerous situation."

Kidman and Phillips were the only firefighters on scene. They ran into the building and kicked in door after door, evacuating sleeping residents. By the time the first fire engine arrived, the building was almost empty.

"We've got a job to do no matter what city we are in. It really doesn't matter. It's the situation that matters," Kidman said.

He and Phillips displayed heroic efforts that night, putting the safety of others before their own. Kidman's wife, Charity, says it's typical behavior for a firefighter.

"I don't shut up talking about my husband because I'm super proud of what he does," she said.

Like a lot of firefighter's families, the Kidmans make the most of the time they have together. A firefighter's schedule isn't easy.

We've got a job to do no matter what city we are in. It really doesn't matter. It's the situation that matters.

–Scott Kidman

"I'm a single mom a lot," she said. "There are times he's gone for 24 hours at a time. Lots of times he comes home and he's so tired from the shift that he's out of it."

The Kidman children say they worry about their dad, but it helps knowing he's taking care of others. Daughter Rainee Kidman says she tell her friends at school that her dad helps save lives.

When working, Kidman and Phillips say they're constantly thinking of their families. Phillips currently is stationed in Eden and keeps a picture of his family in his helmet. It's been there for eight years.


Phillips says family motivates him and a lot of firefighters to do their jobs. He says endless support from family gives them the confidence to do what needs to be done.

"You do this, ultimately, for them," Phillips said.

Kidman is home with his family because Sunday he was hospitalized with heart problems after fighting a fire for eight hours. He is OK now, but it serves as a reminder of what firefighters go through to protect lives and property.


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