By Staff Sgt. Amanda Delisle
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
Airman 1st Class Brendan Kiser smelled something strange from his apartment’s vent Sunday night and investigated it, discovering a fire that broke out in his neighbor’s apartment March 15.
Airman Kiser, 50th Force Support Squadron Military Personnel Section, went into action, evacuating 28 people after he discovered the fire in his Tanager Meadows apartment complex.
Airman Kiser followed the smoke smell to his next door neighbor’s apartment. After beating on the door and shouting out to contact the occupant, Airman Kiser kicked in the door to find a fire coming from the bathroom ceiling, but no one home.
After a call to 911, he quickly ran to notify the apartment directly above, the one he believed to be most at risk. Light-headed from the fumes himself, Airman Kiser led a pregnant couple, extremely disoriented from carbon monoxide, to safety while continuing to knock on doors to alert the other residence to evacuate.
“The residents were shocked because they couldn’t hear the fire or smell smoke,” said Airman Kiser.
Airman Kiser said his actions were based on simply being aware. He sensed something was abnormal and instead of ignoring it, he acted on it.
“It was pretty simple what to do,” he said. “I just did what I thought needed done to get everyone safely out. I don’t feel like a hero, I just did the right thing.”
Residents, fire fighters and Airman Kiser’s fellow Airmen contend; his actions were heroic.
“Brendan definitely acted as a hero and did himself and his wing proud,” said Chief Lou Fischer, 50th Mission Support Group superintendent.
Lt. Gabe Blanco, Colorado Springs Fire Department, said Airman Kiser’s quick actions were instrumental in saving lives and reducing property damage.
Airman Kiser and the other residents were unharmed and damage was limited to the apartment where the fire started.
Although the cause of the fire is still under investigation, preliminary reports indicate the fire started due to a faulty exhaust fan in the apartment’s bathroom.