Abington: Resident, First Responders Recognized for Two-Alarm Fire Rescue

From left: Abington Firefighter/Paramedic Ryan Amado, Sergeant Mark Kilgour, Officer Shawn Kelly, and Kurt Knepshield. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

From left: Abington Firefighter/Paramedic Ryan Amado, Sergeant Mark Kilgour, Officer Shawn Kelly, and Kurt Knepshield. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

 

A ceremony was held in Abington to recognize a resident and first responders after they rescued a man from a two-alarm fire.

Abington Fire Chief John Nuttall says Kurt Knepshield, Police Sergeant Mark Kilgour, and Officer Shawn Kelly started rescues when a fire broke out at a home on 1016 Plymouth Street on June 18.

The three helped pull the man out, and Firefighter/Paramedic Ryan Amado started CPR shortly after.

Nuttall says these actions helped save the man’s life.

“It was an incredibly professional example of the cooperation both with police/fire, the mutual aid system that we have in the fire department and the emergency medical services at the scene, en route, and ultimately at the Massachusetts General where he was taken,” said Nuttall. “Every link in that chain was able to keep this gentleman alive.”

Knepshield lives across the street, and says he ran over to the home after seeing smoke coming from the second floor. He helped a resident from the first floor out of the home, then ran inside looking for the other occupant.

Through heavy smoke, the occupant was found unconscious in a bedroom. Knepshield started dragging the man out.

Officer Kelly and Sergeant Kilgour arrived on scene and helped pull the man down the stairs and out of the home.

“It was a great team effort all around, it really was,” said Knepshield. “I played college sports, it was just like being on a team. Everybody came in, we all had our jobs to do. We were just trying to get him out of there as fast as we could. I think we did a pretty good job being from all different departments. We came together really quickly when we had to, it was just an awesome outcome.”

Kelly, who has been with the police department for three years, said he had never been in a situation like that one.

“I just did what any human would do,” said Kelly. “It’s what Kurt did. It’s just human nature.”  

Kilgour says they didn’t have time to think, they just knew they had to help.

“I think what happens is you just kick into a state of mind that you have a job to do, and you just try to get that job done and you think about what you did after the fact,” said Kilgour.

Firefighter/Paramedics Amado and Ken Wright were on the first-arriving engine.

Chief Nuttall says Amado calmly radioed in the situation, which elevated the response to a second alarm. Amado then started CPR and life-saving measures on the victim.

Medflight was requested, but was not flying that night due to weather conditions. A Whitman ambulance with Abington, Whitman, and Rockland paramedics onboard treated the man while police escorted them to Mass. General Hospital.

The fire was contained to just the second floor of the home, and was ruled accidental in nature.

“I’m just proud of everybody,” said Nuttall. “We’re recognizing the efforts here, but all of our thoughts go to the victim and his family. That’s really what it’s truly about. We wish him and his family the best trying to get through this.”

The four received citations from the State Senate and the House of Representatives.

About Lenny Rowe

Lenny Rowe is one of the newest additions to the WATD News team. Lenny has won two Edward R. Murrow awards for breaking news coverage, and a Mass. Broadcasters Award in the sports feature category. He grew up in Pembroke and was an intern at WATD in 2012. A 2016 graduate from Suffolk University, Lenny now lives in Rockland. Outside of WATD, Lenny covers high school sports for The Boston Globe. Lenny can be reached at Lenny.Rowe30@Gmail.com.