By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
SOUTHGATE – Resident Ryan Prevett was honored Feb. 5 by Mayor Joseph Kuspa for his heroism in extinguishing an early morning apartment fire and alerting residents to danger on New Year’s Day.
At 3:30 a.m. Jan. 1 at the Village on the Park apartment complex, 13210 Village Park Drive, Prevett smelled smoke, and saw dark smoke emanating from his neighbor’s apartment doorframe, and immediately tried to alert his neighbor to the danger.
He then returned to his apartment, and asked his girlfriend to call 911, then grabbed a fire extinguisher from the hall.
As his neighbor exited the smoke-filled apartment with a blanket over her head, black smoke billowed out into the hall.
Prevett then entered the apartment, which had extremely limited visibility, and discharged the fire extinguisher at the base of the fire. He then triggered the fire alarm, alerting other residents of the building to evacuate.
Firefighters arrived soon afterward to extinguish the remaining fire.
Kuspa said Prevett’s willingness to get involved may have prevented a more serious outcome. He said Outstanding Citizen Awards are not bestowed very often, and he has awarded only two in the past 10 years.
“The city of Southgate and the Southgate Fire Department recognize Mr. Prevett for his heroic actions, and present him with our Outstanding Citizen Award,” Kuspa said. “Thank you, Ryan, for springing into action and placing your safety at risk and assisting the fire department and minimizing the effect of this apartment fire.”
Kuspa also said Prevett helped with another fire in his apartment building the evening of Thanksgiving last year.
Following the fire, Prevett noted on his Facebook page that he went to a local health care facility for breathing treatments after smoke inhalation left him short of breath and coughing up soot.
When his friends jokingly asked him whether he was now a firefighter, he protested that he is still a computer technician.
“Just in the right place at the right time, is how I am looking at it,” Prevett said in a FB post.