Two elderly Concord residents rescued by firefighters


There were all smiles at the Contra Costa County's Station Six fire house. The crew was jolted out of bed at 1:30 a.m. to respond to a call that would later turn into a rescue effort. That rescue was captured on a firefighter's helmet camera.

Early Friday morning, two firefighters entered a burning home in Concord. Two elderly women were inside and were quickly overcome by smoke.

"Once we heard her and located her, it was easy to find the second victim," said engineer Chris Leimpeter with the Contra Costa County Fire Department, who added that the second victim was in her bed with the covers pulled up over her in order to keep smoke away.

The woman in bed had recently had leg surgery and couldn't walk on her own. The other person was her caretaker.

"We could hear them hollering inside, which was intense but also encouraging so you know they're conscious," said firefighter Nick Long. "That environment was very tenable for us because we have our masks with our air and our coats and helmets. For her, not so much."

The women were safely outside within 90 seconds. Afterward, firefighting efforts began in earnest.

After 13 years on the job, this was a first for Leimpeter.

"I've been on fires where the victims aren't so fortunate, especially at this time of the night," Leimpeter, who added that Friday morning's rescue made it worth it.

Both fire officials and a friend on-scene confirmed that the women are doing fine and suffered only minor smoke inhalation. The cause has thus far been determined to be an electrical malfunction in the attic.

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