“Finally an elderly lady came downstairs and she didn’t speak English. The only thing she could say is ‘Come in! Come in!’ She was pretty frantic about it, so we ran upstairs.”
Upstairs, the elderly woman pointed toward a bedroom behind thick smoke.
“She pointed toward the bedroom and her daughter came crawling out. She was paralyzed,” Erickson said.
By the time the soldiers got both women downstairs via an external stairwell on the side of the building, the paramedics and fire department had already arrived.
Despite the danger, both soldiers put aside their fears to help others in need.
“In basic training they taught us to react to contact,” McCanless said. “Plus, I was in the Boy Scouts and they taught us to always do the right thing.”