WATCH: Woman and cat rescued from burning building in Corvallis

Heidi Ferguson said she heard panic in the caller's voice and she soon learned that the caller was trapped on the third floor of the burning building.

Posted: Mar. 14, 2019 7:51 PM
Updated: Mar. 14, 2019 11:35 PM

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- A woman and her cat were rescued from the roof of a burning building on Friday in Corvallis, and they made it out safely thanks to the collaboration between the dispatcher on the phone and the firefighter who climbed the ladder.

Heidi Ferguson, a 911 Public Safety Dispatcher in Benton County, said when the apartment building off of Jefferson Avenue and 5th Street caught fire Friday afternoon, a lot of 911 calls came in. Ferguson, along with three other dispatchers, were answering those calls. 

One call was different from the rest. Ferguson said she heard panic in the caller's voice and she soon learned that the caller was trapped on the third floor of the burning building. 

Ferguson stayed on the line with her and guided the woman through a smoke-filled room to a window. The woman crawled out the window with her cat and was met by a Corvallis firefighter who then helped her down the ladder. 

"Heidi did a really good job of getting the person coached to come out onto the roof, where we could get her out," Battalion Chief Dave Still said. 

Ferguson has been a dispatcher in the Corvallis area for 25 years and said she's never had a call quite like this.

"I can recall many times where we say, 'Leave, everyone needs to get out of the building, evacuate,'" Ferguson said. "But none that I can remember actually walking them through this far."

"I'm really happy nobody got hurt and was really happy about the coordination between our crews and dispatch," Still said.

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