Life Coach & Trainer from Toronto crawls into smoke-filled, burning home, saves woman’s life
A bum shoulder couldn’t keep a Vaughan man from rushing into a smoke-filled, burning home to rescue a trapped woman Monday morning.
Kris Simpson’s quick thinking resulted in the saving of a young woman’s life, in the opinion of Vaughan fire Chief Larry Bentley.
“I believe Kris Simpson’s a hero,” Bentley said Tuesday.
“I believe he saved that woman’s life.”
Simpson, said it all started early Monday when his girlfriend alerted him to the fire next door at 6 Ed Quigg Way in Woodbridge.
The personal trainer and life coach, who had shoulder surgery just over a week ago and has his arm in a sling, rushed outside to see what was happening.
He quickly discovered that while a number of people were already outside the smoke-filled home, there was still one person trapped inside the burning home on the second floor.
Unconcerned about his own safety, Simpson rushed into the home.
“It was full of smoke. I’ve never seen anything like that before. It (smoke) was pretty much 10 inches from the floor and all the way up, you couldn’t see through it, but I could hear screaming and it sounded like she was upstairs.
“I just rushed in, but I couldn’t get very far because I couldn’t breathe and I couldn’t see. I thought, if I go any further here, I won ‘t make it out alive, so, by natural instinct I got myself out of the house and into the front yard again and made sure someone called the fire department,” said Simpson.
Simpson then went back into the home for the second time, this time crawling on the floor under the smoke to the foot of the stairs, “so I could breathe,” he said.
“I made my way up the stairs to the point that I was talking her down, coaching her down … to the point where I saw the blanket she was holding on to and her foot and I grabbed her and led her out of the house. She was trapped upstairs and couldn’t see and in a panic and just couldn’t get down the stairs,” Simpson said.
He said the fire chief told him he was very brave and very heroic but said he doesn’t feel like a hero, “because I did not continue up the stairs the first time.”
Simpson said, “Perhaps it wasn’t as brave as those firefighters were when they go up the stairs and bring people down on their backs, but the objective was met in the sense that she got out alive and it was a fire that could have killed the whole family for sure.”
He said the woman’s mother told him, “Thank you for saving my daughter’s life.”
Simpson said the woman’s face and mouth were black from the smoke when she got out of the home and that she could only breathe because of the blanket she held over her head and covering her mouth.
He’s been told she’s now home from hospital and staying at another relative’s house recovering.
As for Simpson, Bentley said it’s his plan to have him receive a special citation for bravery from the City of Vaughan at a future date.