Toledo firefighter Allen Skomer saved an American flag from the burning home of a Vietnam Veteran Friday in Ohio and appeared on “Fox & Friends” to share his story.
“There was a … I hate to say a bread and butter fire. It’s one of our normal calls that we get,” he said Monday. (RELATED: American Flag Survives The Winds Of Hurricane Florence Then Sells For Over $10,000)
“Before we arrived on scene, our incident commander deemed the structure unsafe for firefighter operations. So, at that point it became a defensive fire. So, breathed a little bit of a sigh of relief with that … knowing that there weren’t going to be any firefighters inside in danger. At that point we just throw water on the structure from the outside and try to keep surrounding structures from catching fire.”
Skomer, who is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, said he was showing a rookie fireman how to properly douse the flames when he saw the flag and had to act.
“I was helping a rookie, showing him how to properly throw a stream, a fire stream and just spray water. And looked up and I saw the flag waving with the flames burning behind it,” he said. “And that kind of set off a little bell in the back of my head, saying ‘hey, that’s not right.’ So, I just … I walked up to the porch and I took the flag down and set it on the bumper of our ladder truck to keep it from burning up. Because I knew we were going to do a controlled burn and let the structure burn down safely. So I didn’t want the flag to go up with it.”
Unfortunately Skomer and the other firefighters weren’t able to save the house, but he said he plans to speak with the homeowner “sometime in the future.” He also said the flag is a symbol and reminds him of his family’s service in the military.
“It means a lot to me, ever since I was a kid. It’s always — I think it starts with the the memories of my father and grandfather and uncles — seeing the pictures of them in their dress uniforms,” he said.
“I have always been inspired to serve and join the military and give something back to the country for the freedoms that we have. And to me the flag is a symbol of a lot of the freedoms we enjoy and sometimes take for granted. And deep down inside it means something to me. And like I said, that flag is a representation of that feeling I have. So, I wouldn’t want to just let it go to waste,” Skomer concluded.
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