JAG/JVG student runs into burning building to save residents on Christmas

by | Jan 18, 2013 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

JAG student, Keon Whitted, was called a Christmas Day hero for running into a burning apartment building to tell residents about the danger.

“I saw the top floor on fire so I jumped the gate and I kicked every door down in that building,” 18-year-old Keon Whitted said. 

Henrico Fire Department Capt. James Mellon said the fire broke out just before noon at the Coventry Gardens apartments in the 200 block of Newbridge Circle.

The fire displaced 16 people according to officials however no residents were injured thanks to the heroism of Whitted.

 “I didn’t know why anyone would knock on my door,” Maebell Pleasants, a resident of the complex, said.  “When they yelled fire, I opened the door,” Pleasants added.

When fire crews arrived they found flames shooting from the building’s second floor and roof and initiated a second alarm to get more crews to the scene.

“It was very heroic,” Cpt. Mellon said.  However, Henrico fire officials say they do not encourage people to do what Whitted did.  After all, many times untrained rescuers end up needing rescuing themselves.

Keon said he did it, “Because it was the right thing to do!”

The only people injured in the fire were the rescuers. Their injuries were minor according to fire officials – mostly smoke inhalation and ankle sprains.

Keon has been a member of Jobs for Virginia Graduates at the Academy at Virginia Randolph (Henrico County) for 2 years.  He looks forward to graduating in June with his high school diploma and Business and Information Technology CTE Certificate. His JVG Specialist Amy Stills says that “Keon is a good student who should be proud of what he did Christmas Day.” 

Keon will be recognized at the Henrico County School Board meeting on Thursday, January 24.  Barry Glenn, JVG President & CEO, will be presenting the JAG National “5 of 5” plaque to the Academy at Virginia Randolph at this meeting.

Extracted from an online article posted on December 25, 2012, by Nick Dutton and Joe St. George with WTVR and posted on WTVR.com.  CBS6 WTVR.com. Richmond-Central Virginia.  http://wtvr.com/2012/12/25/christmas-morning-apartment-blaze-injures-3-in-henrico/