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Great Falls man saves 74-year-old neighbor from burning building

Posted at 8:28 AM, Apr 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-24 10:35:00-04

GREAT FALLS - After a fire broke out at the Glacier Apartments building early Wednesday morning, resident Kyle Ramon took immediate action and rescued his 74-year-old next-door-neighbor, Helen Carlisle.

“I took a deep breath to decompress and then I was like ‘Oh my god, Helen!” Ramon said. Ramon said an officer at the scene instructed him to wait to re-enter the building until fire crews arrived but took action instead. Ramon believes if he hadn’t, Carlisle could have died in her sleep.

“She could’ve died. I couldn't breathe and I was in there and was in a room/apartment away from the fire and I was hurting to breathe. So sleeping...that very possibly could’ve been the outcome,” Ramon said.

Carlisle agreed. “I would’ve slept through it. I would’ve died.”

The 74-year-old said if it hadn’t been for Ramon’s banging on the window, she likely wouldn’t have woken up. “What woke me was him banging on the window. I was in bed sound asleep and I must've been laying on my good ear because I never heard my fire alarm,” Carlisle said.

Once he got her attention, Ramon had Carlisle open the window from the inside so he could enter from the outside to help her escape.

“He got in and put the chair under the window so I could climb up on it and there was an officer outside so Kyle pushed and the officer pulled,” Carlisle said.

After he saved her life, Carlisle said he is nothing short of a hero. “I call him my hero. I've told all my neighbors he’s a hero...you can't say he's anything else less than a hero because like I said, I wouldn't have lived through it if he hadn’t banged on the window and got me awake,” Carlisle said.

As for Ramon, he’s just glad he’ll still have Carlisle next door. “I’m so glad she’s ok...she's the most helpful neighbor. She's done so much for me. We didn’t have laundry money when we moved in here at one point and she borrowed us that, at one point. And then I got a really good job and I got a promotion and got her back and we always just look out for each other,” Ramon said.

Of the four people taken to the hospital, three have since been released, and one remains in critical condition.