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Early pictures: Gresham, Oregon firefighters save man behind bars.

Pictures from Gresham Fire and Emergency Services photographer Greg Muhr.

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In Gresham, Oregon around 7:00 PM last night, Gresham Fire and Emergency Services photographer Greg Muhr captured a series of images as firefighters quickly rescued a man trapped behind bars in the bedroom of his mobile home.


Patrick Preston, KATU-TV:

According to Gresham Fire Battalion Chief Mark Maunder, the man was trying to save his cats and got trapped in a bedroom.

There was another person in the mobile home but that person ran out when the fire started. But the man who was rescued ran to his bedroom, and then couldn’t escape because of bars over the window. 

Firefighters placed an air mask on the man so he could breathe as he poked his head out of the barred window. Then firefighters used chainsaws with special blades to cut through the bottom of the bars. They pried them up and then pulled the man out. It took about 30 seconds.

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Comments - Add Yours

  • Fire21

    Steallie bars keep people out, keep people in. Every dept needs a plan and/or guidelines on how to handle them quickly.

  • D. Schaefer

    Beautiful, great job.

  • RJ(in florida)

    This kind of entrapment scares the hell out of me. Rolling up on a guy trapped in his own home behind a device designed to keep out burglers sucks. i have seen various departments who have to deal with these in florida. the dominant way was a winch with a J hook on the battalion chief’s vehicle or keeping a dedicated K12 with a metal blade handy. i liked the J hook, its quicker but more dangerous to bystanders and works best if the bars are on the front of the house. round back, you’re stuck with the saw

  • FMCH

    RJ, I’m in Florida too. I like the idea of using the saw where the entire setup is bolted to the building. I’m not sure about your area, but we have a ton of trailer parks.

    • RJ(in florida)

      i first saw this in dade county. some of their BC vehicles had J hooks and i asked what they were for and he told me. since then i’ve seen it in other places but WOW what a personal safety hazzard for the residents and for firefighters if they become trapped in a building with them. i know they exist in my county, but have not encountered too many

  • HoodLT

    Often times in my hood I have found that bars on windows are more for show as their anchors to the home have deteriorated. Sometimes a 6ft hook can just pry them out of the wall. Still, every truck/squad/rescue & most engines should have a metal cutting K12 ready for this scenario. Sometimes just cutting the anchors on 1 side will allow you to pry it clear from the window. (2 cuts is faster than 8)
    Great job guys!

  • Cappy

    cutters and spreaders are also effective. This trapped occupant could have eaisly be a firefighter as well.

  • Mets Fan

    I think about this scenario a lot. There is no one clear hard and fast rule with window bars. Size them up. As for providing the facepiece to buy some time I like the idea and would take it a step further with a RIT pack the hose is nice and long so you can hand the guy the facepiece and have them lie on the floor so he’s out of your way to work on the bars and lower in the heat condition.

    As for the bars many times you can pry them out of wood and many companies that deal with them a lot have some angle iron attached to a long piece of rebar to give good leverage to bend them out. The saw does work but one drawback is it might be tough to get the top anchor which might be well over your head. Even if the bolts are in masonary or brick you may just be able to strike the anchors with the maul and get them out. You usually only need to get one side out and then you can just bend it out of the way. And one way that is never mentioned is the cordless rebar cutter which we have on our trucks. It works good and is very easy to hold in the air compared to the saw. I think guys don’t like it because it dosen’t make any noise or cool sparks.

  • Capt 45-2

    Chief Riker rocks