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Kurt Abbott to the rescue in Palm City fire

Guest markotsay7

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Guest markotsay7

Not sure if this should go here or not but I figured it could. If it's wrong feel free to move it.


PALM CITY -- The caller was terrified.


"There's a fire on the first floor and the flames are starting to come up the stairs," Becca Baker pleaded with 911 dispatchers Thursday. "Please send someone quickly."


Already at the front door of her Palm City condo, Kurt Abbott, the Florida Marlins World Series champ turned Martin County sheriff's deputy, didn't think twice about rushing in with Deputy Ed Brochu.


"I turned my back to the front door and took a deep breath," said the 36-year-old Abbott, a former infielder who gave up baseball in 2003 after a serious heel injury.


The two men entered the home, and reached the endangered family.


"I put her arms around my neck and the other girl held on," Abbott said.


The deputies rescued Baker, her mother and stepfather, who had had used a garden hose to battle the blaze that likely began with a water heater in a storage cubby under the stairs. No one was seriously injured.


"He was wonderful. He was so wonderful," said Baker, 34, an optical technician. "Everyone was so wonderful."


For the deputies, that was good to hear.


"I've never done anything like that in my life," Abbott said. "It was like getting the game winning hit."


Said Brochu, "It goes with the job. You really don't think about it at that moment in time. You just do what you have to do. You know, afterward, you reflect on it."




The family had been asleep when Barbara Taylor, 57, awoke about 4:30 a.m. in their home, one of four, two-story condos making up each building of a small complex on Corrnell Avenue.


"My wife woke up and said 'holy smoke' -- and she wasn't kidding," Ted Taylor said in an interview Thursday afternoon.


He said he went downstairs and saw water and light smoke coming from underneath the stairs. That's where the water heater sat amid those items you put under the stairs and forget about.


"Get down here," he yelled to his wife and stepdaughter, still on the second floor as the fire grew worse. "I was laying right there with the hose, just spraying everything I could. I thought they were coming down."


A 911 tape captured the next terrifying six minutes.


Baker: "Please send someone quick."


911 Dispatcher: "Ma'am, they're on the way. I need you to get out of the house ... "


Baker: "I can't get out of the house because it's by the stairs ... please, oh my God ... I'm freaking out, OK? I don't want to die in the fire ..."


Her mother can be heard in the background screaming, "Please, help, help, help!"


Outside, that help had arrived.


"We pulled up. There was smoke billowing out the front door," Brochu, a 20-year-law enforcement veteran, said. "We went inside. The smoke was very thick."




Brochu helped Ted Taylor outside.


Upstairs, "The smoke was becoming so intense we couldn't see," Baker said. "We were afraid to go down the stairs. It might collapse."


Abbott held his breath and made his way up the stairs, trying to find the screams through the smoke.


"You couldn't hardly see in front of you ... You hear them, help!" he said. "I just basically went by feel."


He kept his eyes open and saw Barbara Taylor in a room.


It was so hot the blinds were melting.


Abbott went back down the stairs with Taylor on his back, not sure her daughter was with them.


"I thought I was going to go back in there again but the daughter held on," he said.


With the family safely outside, firefighters arrived to put out the rest of the blaze and give the family some fresh oxygen.


"Everybody's fine," Taylor said Thursday afternoon, as he surveyed his soggy, blackened carpet with thanks amid destruction. "Thank God for the police, the fire department and the Red Cross."


He said the family was put up at a hotel and given meal vouchers from the Red Cross until they could get things sorted out.


For Taylor, a Red Sox fan who was planning on seeing his team play this weekend up north, Abbott's appearance was a bit of an exciting twist but he remained in debt to all involved in the rescue.


"I'm a big baseball fan. I know Kurt Abbott," he said. "I'm just thankful."


And for Abbott and Brochu, their shift wasn't even over.


"We had to go to a burglary. We smelled like smoke bombs," Abbott said, still contemplating the morning's events. "It does make you happy (to save a life) ... you go back and try and replay it. What if we were two minutes later?"



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Guest markotsay7

He had a good 95 if I remember correctly. It was a really pure year, the homers and RBI were decent, something like a .250 or .260 BA and .320 OBP with 15 homers. Obviously not "great", but for a SS who was a bench player until that season, pretty good.

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Guest markotsay7

good job, kurt.


and there was no reason for this thread to have been moved.


Whatever, some people have new-found power. I could definitely see the argument as to why it's here, though.

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