Family thanks firefighters who rescued girl from house fire


JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — It’s now been almost two months since Jackson firefighters rescued a 9-year-old girl from a burning home.

Tuesday, the girl and her family got to thank the firefighters who saved her life.

6 News was there for the meeting at the Jackson Fire Department’s Central Fire Station.

It was a meeting full of hugs, tears, and gratitude for the firefighters who saved 9-year-old Amanda Oliver.

“I thank you for saving me,” Amanda said.

The morning of May 26, a fire broke out in the Oliver family’s home on Fourth Street in Jackson.

Amanda’s sister, Shameka, says she woke up to heavy smoke and flames.

“So I instantly woke the kids up and started throwing them out the window. And when I got to Amanda, she was just resisting me,” Shameka said.

Amanda was trapped inside surrounded by flames.

The Jackson Fire Department arrived and three firefighters went in to rescue her.

“She was unconscious. Wasn’t able to tell if she was burned or not. There was zero visibility, and pretty high heat conditions,” said Firefighter Joel Skrypec.

Skrypec carried her to an open window, handing her off to another firefighter on a ladder who took her to safety.

“We train daily for situations like this. Everything worked out, and we’re glad it did,” Skrypec said.

Both Shameka and Amanda spent weeks in the hospital recovering from severe burns.

“She had third degree burns. She had to get skin grafts,” Shameka said.

The family believes the fire that destroyed their home was no accident.

The Jackson Police Department agrees, saying the fire appears to be suspicious and they’re investigating it as arson.

“I just hope god reveals it and gets whoever did this to our family,” Shameka said.

While police investigate, the family is focused on moving forward and thanking the men who rushed to help in their time of need.

“The fact that they put their lives on the line to save my family, it makes me feel real good,” Shameka said.

“It’s a nice feeling to get a thank you. But we just did our job. Any other fire department put in that situation would have done the same thing,” Skrypec said.

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