November 12, 2021
Chillicothe Line Mechanic Saves Family from Burning Home
Matt Mitchell, a line mechanic working out of the Chillicothe service center, was headed home from work on Wednesday, Oct. 13. As he turned onto West North Street, the road he lives on in Waverly, he saw a vehicle stopped in the middle of the road just down the street from his house. An older woman was in the front yard, frantically waving and pointing inside. The house was on fire.
As Mitchell pulled into the nearest driveway, the woman shouted,“There’s kids in there!”
He immediately thought of his own two sons, 12 and 4-years-old. That’s when his instincts took over. He sprinted inside and saw a mother holding her 8-month-old baby. Searching the home and yelling for the other children, Mitchell was able to locate two young girls. He brought them to their mother and escorted the group out the back door to safety.
Unsure if there were more children inside, Mitchell reentered the home. With the size of the flames increasing and smoke rolling through the front door, he hollered out for anyone else who might be inside. Another neighborhood father who had followed Mitchell inside was finally able to relay the good news: everyone was safe.
Outside the house and amid a growing crowd of neighbors, Mitchell and the dad learned about one more urgent rescue: the family’s two dogs were located by the side of the home and were unable to get away because of the shock collars keeping them close to the property. The two men dashed up to the dogs and, after some gentle coaxing, were able to remove the collars and get the animals to safety too.
The home was destroyed; Mitchell still drives by the yellow-taped damage every day while he’s headed to and from work. But more importantly, everyone inside, dogs included, were unharmed.
Mitchell’s heroism isn’t a surprise to Distribution System Supervisor Dusty Bethel. Bethel describes him as a rock-solid employee who cares about the details of his work and quietly goes about getting it done, without complaint, every single day.
“Me personally, I’d like to have a whole garage full of guys like him,” Bethel said. “He understands his role. He comes in every day, you tell him what to do and the man goes out and does his job. He’s a great employee and a great person.”
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