Resident Rescued From Burning Apartment

SPOKANE — The Fire Department is calling two neighbors heroes after they risked their own lives to pull another man from his burning apartment Monday.

The fire was only six to eight feet in diameter on the apartment floor and while it’s not clear why the apartment resident, 50-year-old John Lauremen, wasn’t able to get out, what is clear is that Ross Boatsman and Greg Mecehles saved his life.

Both Boatsman and Mecehles work at a flower shop next door to the apartment, located at 13th and Division on the South Hill. When they both smelled smoke Monday afternoon they ran next door to the apartment to see what was wrong. 

They looked inside and saw a fire on the floor and raced back to the flower shop to grab a fire extinguisher. They extinguished the fire and that’s when they realized that John Lauremen was inside the apartment, slumped over in an office chair.

Lauremen was unconscious and wasn’t breathing as Boatsman and Mecehles pulled him out of the apartment through 25 feet of smoke and still-smoldering carpet. The men laid him on the grass outside and started performing CPR until paramedics arrived. Lauremen was stabilized and taken to Sacred Heart Medical Center where he was listed in critical condition Monday afternoon.

The owner of the home says there’s approximately $3,000 of damage to the apartment but he’s just grateful John Lauremen is OK and that Ross Boatsman and Greg Mecehles were there to save him.