Off-Duty Bentonville Firefighter Called “Hero” After Saving Woman

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BENTONVILLE (KFSM)- An off-duty firefighter said he was in the right place at the right time, when he saved a woman from a burning home in Bentonville.

On Sunday (Feb. 1), just after 3:00 p.m., Bentonville Fire Captain Matt Perkins, and his family, were pulling into their neighborhood after a family vacation when they saw signs of a fire on SW A Street.

“My wife noticed that there was some smoke coming from one of the [apartment] units,” Perkins said.

Perkins went into the home to make sure there was nobody inside. He said that's when he saw a woman was laying on the floor in the smoke-filled home.

“I could see what appeared to be a figure of a person, probably 5 to ten feet inside the door,” Perkins said. “It was nearly full of dark, black, smoke with near-zero visibility. I just grabbed her underneath the arms and pulled her along the floor.”

Perkins said his training at the Bentonville Fire Department immediately kicked in.

“It's just the way we are trained up here. That is the mindset we have,” Perkins said. “If there is fire, and there is smoke, you are thinking ‘who is in there, and how I can get them out?'”

Perkins said he didn’t think twice about walking into the house without protective gear on.

“This was a situation where I just had to make a quick decision,” Perkins said.

He also insists, he's not a hero, saying he just did what any firefighter would have done.

“That's a human instinct for you. If you see someone in trouble, you want to help them out," Perkins said.

According to the Bentonville Fire Department, the woman Perkins pulled from the house was taken to a hospital in Springfield, Missouri with injuries.