BREMERTON -- Kenneth Patterson and Tony Masga were in the car Saturday morning when they saw flames shooting out of an apartment building on Wycoff Ave. The heat from the fire so intense, glass was breaking and smoke was everywhere. "I just jumped out the car without the crutches…and I went hobbling I went hobbling over here,” said Patterson. He has sickle cell anemia and needs hip surgery. He’s not even supposed to be on his feet but that didn’t stop him. The two of them each took a floor. “He ran in. I went in and we just tried to get everyone out,” said Masga.
Bremerton Police say Patterson even carried a child out in his arms with the family behind him. "I saw a wave of flames coming from an upper story on the balcony that just rolled right on down and actually I lost sight of him in the smoke and the heat,” said Sgt. Kelly Meade. The two of them couldn’t get to a third floor where a 77-year-old woman was trapped in her apartment trying to find her cats. Sgt. Meade had been to the building before knew the elderly woman was hard of hearing. "Started throwing apples at the window trying to get her attention,” said Sgt. Meade.
It worked. They talked her into climbing out the window. She held on to the edge and then dropped from three stories up as Sgt. Meade, Corporal JD Miller and Off Duty PSNS Firefighter Pendergrass were waiting below. “We tried to catch her to break her fall and she only sustained some minor injuries,” said Sgt. Meade.
The quick actions of those first responders and especially Kenneth Patterson hearing the highest praise from Bremerton’s top cop. “I called him today and I mentioned the extraordinary thing he did and I said I just want to thank you and he said, ‘well I didn’t do anything anyone else wouldn’t have done,’ sounds like hero to me. Put into an unusual situation and he's able to step up and we're really, really proud of what he did,” said Bremerton Police Chief Steve Strachan.