While Jesse Hutchison was on his paper route on Nov. 22, he noticed black smoke coming from a garage. He alerted the residents, enabling them to remove their vehicle before it burst into flames. Grand Forks Mayor Mike Brown said, “Hutchison’s actions prevented what possibly could have been a tragedy.”
Here is the article that was published in the Grand Forks Heraldon Dec. 17.
By Charly Haley
Grand Forks Herald
GRAND FORKS, N.D. – It had been “just standard routine” for Michael Landvic.
The Grand Forks man started his Jeep in the garage and went inside to put on his cold weather gear for work.
“I hadn’t been inside for 5 minutes … and I heard this pounding at the door,” Landvic said.
It was Jesse Hutchison, alerting Landvic that there was black smoke coming from his garage.
Landvic ran to check on his Jeep, which “had 4½ foot flames,” he said.
He opened the door, reached into the car and put it in reverse so it rolled into the street — where it burst into flames.
“If it wasn’t for Jesse things really could have been bad,” Landvic said. “He saved a lot. A lot. Two lives.”
Hutchison, who had been on his Herald paper route when he knocked on Ladvic’s door Nov. 22, was honored with the Community Fire Shield Award by the Grand Forks City Council on Monday.
Hutchison’s actions “prevented what possibly could have been a tragedy,” Mayor Mike Brown said.
The vehicle was a total loss, but the garage and house weren’t damaged at all, said Battalion Chief Chad Cutshaw of the Fire Department. The cause of the fire is still unknown and under investigation, he said.
Landvic and Karla Hammer, who owns the house and had also been inside at the time of the fire, were at the council meeting to thank Hutchison.
“He saved our lives,” Hammer said. Hutchison told Landvic, Hammer and the Council, “I probably did what anyone would do.”
And the lucky thing was that Hutchison had been about a half an hour late delivering the newspaper to Hammer and Landvic.
“So if I hadn’t been late … that’s the weird thing,” he said.
The Grand Forks Herald is owned by Forum Communications Co., which is a multimedia information company based in Fargo, N.D., and owns dozens of newspapers, websites, television and radio stations, and commercial printing facilities in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.