Firefighters rescue 5 from burning apartment building in KCK

One firefighter singlehandedly saved four people
Published: Nov. 28, 2022 at 7:24 PM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Kan. (KCTV) - An apartment fire over the weekend displaced 15-20 people in Kansas City, Kansas, and sent three people to the hospital.

Those three people are all going to survive. A big reason for that is the rapid response time by firefighters.

Firefighters responded to the three-story fire on Saturday night. People were trapped on all three levels.

They made it to the scene in under two minutes. Then, they made five rescues in just two minutes.

“As we pulled past that fire, you could see people just to the right of those flames on all three floors,” said Capt. Mark Millstead with the KCK Fire Department.

Capt. Millstead took one look at the massive flames shooting through Rainbow Ridge Apartments and asked himself a question: “Now you have to make a decision. ‘Who am I going to save and who am I going to lose?’”

With several people hanging from balconies, every second counts.

“Timing is everything because, while we were trying to get those people down, I thought we were going to lose somebody in the process,” Capt. Millstead said.

This was Dylan Alexander’s very first rescue mission as a firefighter. He singlehandedly made four out of the five rescues that night.

“Having victims hanging out the windows and having to go get and grab... That’s why we do it, but that’s the first time I’ve ever done that,” said Alexander.

He said it’s just now starting to sink in that he saved four lives. But, he doesn’t see himself as a hero.

“It’s just what we do,” Alexander said. “It’s our job. Anybody in the department would’ve done it. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.”

Alexander wasn’t even supposed to be on that shift Saturday night, but he picked it up for someone else. The KCK Fire Department is now nominating him for firefighter of the year.