A quick-thinking soldier stationed at Camp Humphreys in South Korea, helped save a mother and her young child after an electrical fire started in a nearby apartment building.
Staff Sgt. Victor Gomoimunn and his wife, Nicole Lysiak, noticed the smoke coming from the second floor last month, according to the 5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment. Gomoimunn ran towards the burning building and found out that a woman and her child were trapped on the third floor.
"We know many of the residents in the neighborhood and when I looked up he was gone," his wife said.
"The building was filled with black smoke," said Gomoimunn, a petroleum supply specialist from Waterford, New York assigned to 339th Quartermaster Company. "I couldn't see anything and I couldn't breathe." After a failed attempt of reaching the stairs due to heavy black smoke, Gomoimunn found a water pipe that ran up the side of the building near a third-floor window.
"I climbed up the pipe to a window on a third-floor balcony. It was locked but the woman was inside and she was able to unlock the window. Once inside I found them both in the living room," he said.
Once inside, he led the woman, Sun Helmer, and her child through the smoke and to a balcony. His initial thought was to bring the two back down the pipe he had climbed, but was advised by an onlooker that the fire department was on its way, leading him to make the decision to wait.
"I really don't think I did anything," he said. "I just kept them company until the fire department came."
Rachael Kalinyak is an editorial intern with Network Solutions.