Melvindale resident Makisha Scott (left) joined city officials in recognizing the firefighters who saved her life at 3 a.m. Oct. 16 when she was overcome by smoke. Her 15-year-old daughter Kareesha Scott (second from left) climbed out a bedroom window and went to a neighbor’s to call for help. Sgt. Michael Preadmore (third from left), and firefighters Aaron Sarnovsky (fourth from left) and Glen Owens (fifth from left) were commended for their part in the rescue.
By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
MELVINDALE – The actions of four firefighters and one quick-thinking teen saved a woman’s life last month, and city officials aren’t letting it go unnoticed.
The group was recognized at the Nov. 17 City Council meeting for their successful rescue of Makisha Scott, a 34-year-old Corbin Street resident, when smoke from an Oct. 16 house fire nearly claimed her life. Honorees included Sgt. Michael Preadmore and Firefighters Carl McKinney, Glen Owens and Aaron Sarnovsky. Owens was Preadmore’s engineer, and McKinney was the second engineer at the scene.
Makisha Scott’s 15-year-old daughter, Kareesha Scott, a sophomore at Melvindale High School, also was commended for her quick, level-headed response in seeking help for her mother.
The Fire Department received a 3 a.m. 911 call from the Scotts’ neighbor that the house next door was on fire, and that a person was trapped inside.
Kareesha Scott was asleep in a nearby bedroom with the door closed when the sound of flames awoke her. Preadmore said the smoke detectors in the house were not working at the time of the fire.
When Kareesha opened her bedroom door and noticed the flames and the smoke, she closed the bedroom door, exited the house through her bedroom window and went next door to pound on the neighbor’s door for help. As soon as the firefighters arrived, entered and found Scott in a bedroom, they removed her from the house and checked her vital signs.
“I can tell you as we stand here, and my crew will attest, the lady was clinically dead,” Preadmore said. “She wasn’t breathing and she had no pulse.”
The firefighters initiated cardiopulmonary resuscitation and advanced life support care.
“After a process of seems like forever, while we were getting the stretcher and everything set up, I was doing compressions on her – she’s going to holler at me again – we took a break and the guys got everything set up and we were getting ready to load her and she took a gasp for air.”
Preadmore said his crew was shocked.
“We looked at each other and we said, ‘S—, we got something to work with,’” he said while the Scotts smiled and many people present in the council chamber laughed.
They immediately loaded her up in their rig and transported her to Oakwood Hospital & Medical Center in Dearborn. Sarnovsky and McKinney continued their lifesaving efforts en route.
Preadmore then checked the house again to make sure no one else was inside.
Makisha Scott, who the firefighters said by then was unconscious but breathing mostly on her own, was transferred from Oakwood to the Burn Center at Detroit Receiving Hospital, where she spent over a week recovering and was treated in the hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber to support healing. Meanwhile, Marilyn Bonner, Makisha Scott’s mother, kept the firefighters up to date on her daughter’s progress.
“As you can see, when everything goes the way it is actually supposed to go, and everything works out and the good Lord is not ready for you, you can stand here,” Preadmore said. “She’s alive!”
Preadmore praised his “outstanding” crew. He also commended Kareesha for keeping her bedroom door closed, saying if she had not done so, there would have been two fatalities.
“I applaud your daughter, and I’m glad you’re here,” Preadmore said.