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    163d ATKW Airman Evacuates Burning Building

    163d ATKW Airman Evacuates Burning Building

    Photo By Neil Mabini | Senior Airman Franklin J. Solis, an electrician with the 163d Civil Engineering...... read more read more



    Story by Senior Airman Timothy Tweet 

    163d Attack Wing

    Senior Airman Franklin J. Solis, an electrician with the 163d Civil Engineering Squadron and former Army medic with the 6252nd United States Army Hospital, evacuated residents of the Fletcher Hills Apartments in El Cajon, California during a fire that claimed multiple residences on April 18, 2021. Franklin left his house with his two year old son, Crosby, to get donuts. On their way home, only one mile away from home, Franklin noticed smoke and decided to investigate the cause. He notified 911. The dispatcher told Franklin he was the first to call and that they were dispatching the El Cajon Fire Department to the apartment complex. Franklin decided to take action. He began attempting to alert the residents of the fire.

    Franklin was honking his truck’s horn to no avail. He decided he needed to go door to door in the complex to alert the residents. At 7:30 AM, Franklin was yelling “Fire, Fire,” while making his way up, down and around the complex. He began knocking on doors to tell residents their building had burst into flames, Franklin was able to evacuate 3 or 4 households to safety. The fire department and police department then arrived on scene and rescued 2 residents from their balcony via a ladder. Franklin said “I’ll be that guy who calls every time, I had never done anything like that outside of military training but I want to say that if you see something like that you should always call.” Franklin mentioned “If I didn’t call when I did the fire department may not have had time to rescue those residents on the upper floors and it was early in the morning so who knows how many residents were sleeping, that knocking and yelling and maybe waking people up, who knows they may not have made it out.” When asked about his motivations and what was going through his head, Franklin responded “After I called I felt like I could do more to help, I think some of the training I’ve received over the years of my military career kicked in and I felt able and willing to do more.”

    Franklin left the scene when it was clear the fire department had control of the situation, he had to get those donuts home to his wife, Theresa Solis, who was hosting a fundraiser.

    Thank you Senior Airman Franklin J. Solis and Theresa for being an excellent example of the citizen soldier, keep up the good work in your communities and inspiring others to do the same.



    Date Taken: 04.18.2021
    Date Posted: 06.06.2021 17:05
    Story ID: 398236
    Location: EL CAJON, US 

    Web Views: 208
    Downloads: 0