On Thursday, August 16 six local heroes were honored at the Carlisle Fire Company for their courageous acts that occurred on the night of Wednesday, June 20 when together they saved two residents from a burning building. Dubbed the “Selfless Six” by the local community, these individuals put their own lives in danger to rescue Thurman Benson and Carol Robinson.
The fire that was reportedly caused by an electrical failure in an extension cord left damages to the house, on South Washington Street, estimated at $125,000. Although the house could not be saved, it was the heroic acts of six little league parents that ensured the lives of the two occupants as they were rushed out of the building before fire crews arrived.
Tom Cahall, Shane Casper, Mike Edwards, Samantha Wright, Kasey Sharp and Larry Jarrell were watching a ball game at the local Little League field as the fire broke out in a residence directly behind the fields. Occurring around 7 pm on June 20, the fire began to quickly escalate as parents from the fields rushed over to assist. With no fire crews on the scene yet, the individuals made the quick decision to search the burning home to look for any occupants. As they rushed up the stairs they were met by Thurman Benson who told them about Carol Robinson who was in a wheel chair in the upper level of the house.
Casey Sharp, the individual that carried Ms. Robinson out of the burning structure, says that he and the other individuals did not have time to think about the situation when they arrived at the house but merely reacted to someone in danger.
“I really didn’t think about what we were doing,” commented Mr. Sharp when asked about his thoughts when he arrived on the scene. “All we knew was that there was a lady in there that could not walk. We just wanted to make sure she got out of that house.”
Another one of the “Selfless Six”, Samantha Wright, commented that she had acted on her instincts and the lessons that her father, a volunteer fireman, had taught her.
“We really didn’t know what was going on when we got there and just wanted to make sure no one was inside,” commented Ms. Wright. “When we learned that there were people inside there was no second thought about it, we needed to get them out. A house can be replaced but a life cannot.”
Carlisle Fire Company’s Fire Chief, Bob Carpenter presented the six heroes with a public recognition honoring their acts of bravery in front of a crowd assembled at the Carlisle Fire Hall on Thursday, August 16.
“It is an honor and a privilege to give you all this award,” commented Chief Carpenter. “It means so much to this community that you all became involved on that fateful day. You folks put your life on the line to save others. We appreciate your contribution to this community.’
Tracy Jones, a representative for the Robinson family, spoke to the crowd as she addresses the six heroes. She presented the news that Carol Robinson has since passed away due of her existing illness.
“You gave us two extra months to be with the woman that I call my sister,” commented Ms. James. “You all have a special place in the family’s heart. God bless every one of you.”
The “Selfless Six” were also awarded honors from the State of Delaware Senate and House of Representatives, Sussex County Council and Kent County Levy Court at Thursday night’s event. Fire Chief Carpenter has also submitted the names of the “Selfless Six” to be honored at the Delaware Volunteer Firefighter’s Association Conference this September.