Somerville Fire Lieutenant and Mother of 5 Recounts Rescue of Elderly Couple

Lt. Danielle O'Hearn of the Somerville Fire Department remained humble while telling her story after being injured during a rescue

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A Massachusetts firefighter and mother of five told her story after being injured during a heroic rescue.

An injured Lt. Danielle O'Hearn of the Somerville Fire Department remained humble Thursday night.

"I just happened to be the person who went up the ladder first," she said.

She and fellow firefighters rescued elderly grandparents early Wednesday morning from a burning second-floor porch on Kensington Avenue.

Two firefighters were injured rescuing two residents while battling a blaze early Wednesday at a home in Somerville, Massachusetts.

"We removed the first victim. She went down the ladder. The fire conditions got worse," said O'Hearn.

And it was a complicated rescue. Firefighters had to break spindles out of the porch to get to the couple.

Then, the grandfather became stuck.

"He was stuck on the ladder. He couldn't get himself to remove himself to go down the ladder," O'Hearn said. "The fire had engulfed the second-floor porch at that point, so the least of our concern was falling."

With the help of another firefighter, O'Hearn jumped with him.

"I wrapped my legs around his chest, I grabbed his shoulders, and we jumped off," she said. "We hit the first-floor shed, then down onto the ground."

O'Hearn was treated at Massachusetts General Hospital for injuries to her head, ankle and hand.

Another firefighter suffered burns.

"In the split second, it's like muscle memory. You figure out what you have to do and what you can do," O'Hearn said. "At that point, the decision was to just jump."

O'Hearn is a 14-year veteran of the department. Her husband is also a firefighter, and she has five children.

"I plan every day I go to work to make it home, so I've got to do what I've got to do to make sure the people I'm trying to get out of the building make it home, and I make it home, and my crews make it home," she said.

Despite being hurt, O'Hearn hopes to be back on the job in couple of weeks.

She praises her team, taking no credit herself.

"Everyone's small action made us go home, truly," she said. "We sign up to be a firefighter, we sign up to do these things."

None of the residents in the house were hurt, including the grandfather.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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