Bystanders rescued a partially paralyzed Parkland woman from her burning apartment Monday afternoon.
Karen Shepard, who is paralyzed on her left side, couldn’t get her wheelchair out of the apartment in the 100 block of 129th Street South about 1:30 p.m. and began screaming for help, she said.
Joel Repp, who was driving by with his wife, saw the fire, heard the cries for help and entered the burning apartment, pushing her wheelchair out and onto the grass with help from another unidentified passerby.
“He’s my hero,” Shepard said of Repp. “He got me out and got me saved.”
Central Pierce Fire & Rescue called out a second alarm for the blaze, and eight engines, a ladder truck, three medic units, two battallion chiefs and six chief officers responded, interim Deputy Chief Jeff Power said.
“The first crews got it out nice and quick,” Power said.
Neighbor John Smith saw smoke coming from the apartment and alerted another person in the complex. By the time he turned back around, the fire was burning out the side of the unit toward the courtyard of the Concordia Arms Apartments.
“It was like a minute from a little bit of smoke to blazing flames,” Smith said.
Shepard is the only person displaced by the fire, Power said. Its cause is under investigation.
Staff photographer Dean J. Koepfler contributed to this report.