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Off-duty fire fighter saves apartment building from burning

December 16, 2012|Lauren Pozen, KSPR News

NIXA, Mo. - He was off duty, but the quick thinking of a Nixa Firefighter is credited for containing a fire before it got out of control.

The Nixa Fire Protection District says firefighter Tommy Goran demonstrated its mission "service through commitment".

Goran says he was on his way home from his second job as a EMT at Mercy Hospital Thursday when he saw flickering lights.

"I thought it was Christmas lights because of the season and then as I got closer, it was actually fire coming off the deck," he says.

Goran says when he saw the flames, he pulled his car over and went to the apartment where the deck was on fire. No one was home.

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"That's when I ran back down re-looked at the deck fire and then called 911," he says.

Instead of waiting for crews to arrive, Goran took matters into his own hands and scaled the outside of the building. In his hands, a fire extinguisher given to him by a neighbor.

"I climbed on the rail from the ground floor just enough so I could reach my fingertips on the bottom rail," he says.

Within four minutes, he contained the blaze. Fire investigators say cigarette butts in a plastic pail caused the fire. Goran says he did not think twice about his actions.

"I am pretty sure I've inherited a new nickname - spider man or spider monkey. Every time I walk in the room, the Superman theme song is playing," he says.

Goran is modest about his recognition for going above the call of duty when he was off the clock, but says that is just part of the job.

"Us guys in the fire service always say it is a lifestyle compared to a job choice none of us dread waking up in the morning going to our jobs," Goran says. 

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