Warrant Officer Zarah Dimond sat in her rental car in the hotel’s parking garage warming herself on a cold December morning when she began to smell smoke.

The cyberspace defense soldier had arrived a day early at the Colorado Springs Colorado Hilton Garden Inn to attend a defensive cyber operations symposium at Fort Carson from her home station at Fort Stewart, Georgia where she serves with Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division, according to an Army release.

At first, she thought the smoke smell must be the car — maybe it was the heater.

Then she looked up and saw people exiting a small business complex next door in a cloud of smoke.

“I get out of my vehicle and run over to the railing, yelling down to the individuals, ‘hey is that building on fire?’” she said.

“Yes!” they responded.

She climbed over the railing and jumped onto a garbage can below before she got to the ground and began running toward the structure.

“As I’m banging on the doors, I find a man stumbling his way through the hallway,” Dimond said. “I grabbed him by the arm and guided him towards the door to get him outside.”

Dimond went back into the burning building, gathering more people and leading a second person outside. The single mother of five children had a personal motivation.

“For those people who are in there, they have families, too,” said Dimond. “Something as simple as going in there to get them out can save a whole life and a whole family from grief.”

The warrant officer’s courageous acts on Dec. 4 didn’t surprise those who work with her and know her.

“She’s always ready to help and always prepared to answer a question,” said Capt. Donny Lopera, a network engineer with 3rd Infantry Division. “When a person with five kids takes the initiative to enter a burning building without hesitation, it’s personal courage and selfless service.”

Dimond’s unit is in the process of recommending her for the Army Commendation Medal, 3rd ID spokeswoman, Maj. Angel Tomko, told Army Times.

Th warrant officer hails from Guam and joined the Army in July 2008 as an information technology specialist. She has previously earned three Army Commendation Medals and eight Army Achievement Medals during her service.

*Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include additional information provided by the 3rd Infantry Division Public Affairs Office.

Todd South has written about crime, courts, government and the military for multiple publications since 2004 and was named a 2014 Pulitzer finalist for a co-written project on witness intimidation. Todd is a Marine veteran of the Iraq War.

In Other News
Load More