Neighbors save disabled man from burning home

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WEST JORDAN — Two men are safe after neighbors pulled one of the men from a burning house Monday night.

The fire started at 5131 W. Cobble Creek Drive (8330 South) in West Jordan. Battalion Chief Clint Petersen said a 14-year-old and his 27-year-old brother, who is severely handicapped, were in the house at the time.

The 14-year-old was doing homework at the kitchen table when smoke detectors went off. He called his father, who told him to go investigate. When he opened the door of the bedroom next to his brother's bedroom and saw the fire, he shut the door and ran for help.

"He came pounding on the door saying his brother was trapped in the bedroom and the house was on fire," said Daniel Jaterka, a neighbor.

Jakerta said he, his 22-year-old son, Chris Jaterka, and a passerby all ran to help without thinking about it.

"The house was on fire and we knew someone was trapped in his bedroom, and me and my son and a third guy broke out the window and pulled him out through the window before the fire took him," he said.

He came pounding on the door saying his brother was trapped in the bedroom and the house was on fire.

–Daniel Jaterka

Jaterka said he hopes other people would have helped, too, if it had been their door that was knocked on.

"I hope that people, when they see someone in need, they'll stop to help," he said.

Both the 14-year-old and the 27-year-old are at Jordan Valley Medical Center being treated for smoke inhalation. Petersen said it could have been much worse for the 27-year-old.

"It was basically black smoke to the ground. We think they saved his life, there's no question about it," he said.

The cause of the fire is unknown. Petersen said the house received $100,000 in damage and is uninhabitable. It was unknown where the family would be staying as of Monday night.



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