Two firefighters awarded Medal of Valor for actions at Tech Terr

Two firefighters awarded Medal of Valor for actions at Tech Terrace house explosion

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A fire in Tech Terrace last year was no routine scene for firefighters.

On the evening of March 27, 2018, Station 9-A firefighters Jose Solis, Dillon Shaw and their crew arrived to the scene of a house explosion near 21st and Elgin. 

"We knew that is was something a little bit different than what we were used to, just cause they were having such a hard time actually putting the fire out," Shaw said.

Compressed gas cylinders were exploding and sending chemical fumes into the air, making the area even more dangerous.

"Fire, explosions, smoke, citizens coming out that were right next to it, and they got glass from the windows into their face or eyes," Solis said.

The two men and equipment operator Josh Rowan went to attack the fire through the carport. After rounding a truck, Solis and Rowan fell into a pit.

"So I started looking around and noticed an open hole, and that's where I found Joe and Josh," Shaw said.

Shaw managed to pull an injured Solis out, but Rowan had fallen eight feet down.

"Dillon, his quick thinking, reactions, is what got me out from any further danger, and then we helped get Josh out," Solis said.

Shaw jumped into the pit to help Rowan. Despite Solis' injuries, he remained on the scene to help rescue Rowan and battle the fire.

Now, a year later, Lubbock Fire Rescue has honored firefighters Solis and Shaw with Medals of Valor. It is awarded to a firefighter who risks his or her own life to save another, under especially hazardous conditions.

The men credit their training and their fellow firefighters for helping them through the night.

"In any of the situations that you're in, you always revert back to the training, so i think that was a big, big deal," Shaw said.

Anyone would have done what Solis did in that situation, he said.


"The brotherhood is what keeps us going," Solis said. "The family atmosphere is what keeps us going."

As for what is next, Shaw said his goal is to keep getting better. Solis is still recovering from his injuries but said he is eager to get back to work.

"i want to be back with my crew," Solis said. "That's what's home to me."

 



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