Postman and teen honored for saving woman in fire


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Updated: 8/21/2013 2:13 am Published: 8/20/2013 9:32 pm


The mailman and the teen who rescued a disabled woman from a fire were honored for their act of bravery.

U.S. Postal Service worker Michael Mohr and 17-year-old Juan Rodriguez were presented with a certificate and a rare coin by the Broken Arrow Fire Department.

"It was really a great honor,” said Rodriguez.

On Aug. 6, the two ran into Lafonna Burchfield's burning home near 71st and South Garnett Road.

"She said, 'I need help,'" said Mohr.

The teen, who just started his junior year at Union, said he did what anyone should do in a crisis.

"Just trying to help," said Rodriguez.

Mrs. Burchfield, who is a widow, is on oxygen and uses a walker.

"I remember flames and what happened to Smokey," said Burchfield.

Her white-and-silver schnauzer, Smokey, disappeared. She had her for seven years and they did everything together.

"My last memory of her was standing at the top of the ramp begging me with her eyes to ‘Come get me mamma,’” said Burchfield.

She said Smokey wiggled out of her arms and took off into the living room.

"I knew I had to get out of there," said Burchfield.

That's when Rodriguez and Mohr pulled Burchfield out from her burning garage.

"It just had to be done," said Mohr.

They could hear her dog crying for help but knew it was too dangerous to go inside.

"I could see orange, I could hear things popping that sounded like firecrackers," said Mohr.

Burchfield was briefly hospitalized for smoke inhalation and minor burns. In her eyes, she said these men are her heroes.

"I wouldn't be had it not been for them and the fireman, I have so many people to thank," said Burchfield.

An act of kindness by two strangers who say they won't forget.

"It was very humbling and definitely an honor, you just help somebody, that’s just what we do," said Mohr.

Mrs. Burchfield named her dog Smokey because when he jumped, he looked like a puff of smoke. Mohr and other neighbors have shared Smokey's picture in hopes of finding the dog.

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