At the Iowa City Council meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 20, Police Chief Sam Hargadine and Fire Chief John Grier jointly recommended three young people for a Lifesaving Commendation for actions they took to help save a neighbor who was trapped by fire. Iowa City Mayor Matt Hayek presented the awards to Javeyel, Marquelle, and Jaztinique Jones.

The awards derived from an incident that occurred on Friday, July 10, 2015. At approximately 2:18 p.m., Iowa City Police and Fire Departments were dispatched to an unattached garage fire in the 600 block of south 1st Avenue. The caller informed 911 dispatchers that a garage was on fire and a person was trapped inside.

Moments prior to the 911 call, two brothers who lived across the street from the fire saw smoke coming from the garage. They approached the structure and heard a person screaming for help, stating that he was trapped inside. The two brothers were then joined by their older sister, who used a cellphone to call 911 to report the fire and let rescuers know there was man trapped in the building.

Emergency crews quickly arrived and forced entry into the garage to access the victim.  Investigation later revealed that the homeowner attempted to douse the flames with an extinguisher and then with water he carried from the house. While he was in the garage, the door abruptly closed, trapping him inside. The victim was hospitalized for several weeks, and is now at home recovering from his injuries. 

Without the quick actions of Javeyel, Marquelle and Jaztinique Jones, there is little doubt this would have been a fatal incident. The brave actions of all three led to the saving of a life and the City’s Lifesaving Commendation.

Date of publication

Wednesday, October 21, 2015