Quick-thinking cop saves life in early morning house fire

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Emergency services responded to a report of a house fire in the Gill Addition of east Jackson early this morning, safely rescuing one resident who was still asleep when help arrived.

An individual reported seeing smoke and flames coming from a home at 460 E. Deloney Ave and called 911 at 3:32am. Jackson Police officer Sgt. Garrett Kellams was first on-scene. He immediately checked to see if there was anyone inside. He pounded on the door but heard nothing. Kellams then entered the home and found a single occupant still sleeping. He woke the man and helped him evacuate through the smoke and out of the burning structure.

Police say the home’s smoke detectors failed to function, making Sgt. Kellams’ actions a life-saving effort in ensuring that the occupant was awakened with enough time to escape before becoming overcome by smoke and fire. A second occupant who resides in a basement apartment was not home at the time of the fire.

The first arriving Jackson Hole Fire/EMS (JHFEMS) fire unit, Engine 11 out of Station 1 in Jackson, found a single story, residence with smoke and heavy fire consuming the exterior east walls and roof structure. The Engine 11 crew provided initial fire suppression efforts and were able to substantially suppress the fire until additional JHFEMS units from Stations 6 and 7 arrived and assisted with further extinguishment, limiting further property loss.

There were no injuries to members of the public or emergency responders.

Responding emergency responders included 3 JPD officers, 9 Fire/EMS apparatus, 20 firefighters, and Jackson Hole Security.

The structure sustained heavy fire damage to approximately 25% of the structure with accompanying smoke damage throughout the main floor.

Fire Marshal Kathy Clay has investigated the fire’s area of origin and gathered information for the investigation report which will be released upon completion.

JHFEMS wants to remind everyone that your ability to get out of your house during a fire depends on advance warning from smoke alarms and advance planning. Ensure your smoke alarms are functional and in every bedroom and connecting hallways. Get everyone in your household together and make a home escape plan. Walk through your home and look for two ways out of every room.

  • Make sure escape routes are clear of debris and doors and windows open easily.
  • Plan an outside meeting place where everyone will meet once they have escaped.
  • If there are infants, older adults, family members with mobility limitations or children who do not wake to the sound of the smoke alarm, make sure that someone is assigned to assist them in the event of an emergency.
  • If the smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside and go to your outside meeting place with your family.
  • Test your smoke detectors a minimum of twice a year.

Please contact Battalion Chief Mike Moyer at (307) 733-4732 with questions.

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