Severn teen, neighbor rescue ailing man from house fire

Meade High senior helps cancer patient

March 09, 2001|By Laura Barnhardt | Laura Barnhardt,SUN STAFF

Raven Martin, a senior at Meade High School, went to school after rescuing Lawson Garnett from his burning rowhouse in Severn one morning this week, his grandmother said.

"He's a good boy, always willing to help," said Gloria Martin, who watched as her grandson - wearing only his underwear and a coat - ran out to help another neighbor rescue Garnett.

The two rescued the 51-year-old man, who was trapped inside the house, shortly before 5 a.m. Wednesday.

Martin tried getting the man's attention by throwing bricks at his window on the second floor where flames were visible. Then, he and neighbor James Williams broke through the front door and pulled Garnett - a cancer patient who uses a breathing tube and has trouble walking - onto the lawn, said Anne Arundel County Fire Division Chief John M. Scholz.

Garnett had first- and second-degree burns on more than 60 percent of his body from the fire that began in his bedroom, Scholz said.

He remained in critical condition at Johns Hopkins Bayview Hospital's burn center yesterday. The cause of the blaze has not been determined. Firefighters had responded to a fire in Garnett's bedroom less than 24 hours earlier when his careless smoking caused a small fire, Scholz said.

Wednesday's fire, which caused more than $10,000 in damage, began just after Garnett's wife left for work, Scholz said.

The rescue marked the second time Anne Arundel County residents have saved a fire victim in the past month.

Today, County Executive Janet S. Owens will reunite a 19-year-old Pasadena mother with the three construction workers who rescued her and her 6-month-old daughter when they were trapped in their burning house Feb. 13.

Michael Lysic, Jeff Jones and Gerard "Rodie" Garofalow were working on fire rehabilitation at a house nearby when they saw smoke coming from Christal Hayden's house about a block away. She was able to drop her infant from a bedroom window into Lysic's arms. Jones and Garafalow caught her when she jumped from the second floor to escape the fire.

Hayden and the child suffered minor smoke inhalation.

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