May 8, 2023

Off Duty Nurse Rescues Family in a House Fire, Then Goes To Work After

Off Duty Nurse Rescues Family in a House Fire, Then Goes To Work After

Tina LaTorella, a Registered Nurse (RN) at Winchester Hospital in Winchester, Massachusettes, is being hailed a hero after jumping into action to save a family caught in a house fire. LaTorella was walking her daughter to school when she noticed the multistory home engulfed in flames. She was also scheduled for a shift at the hospital later that day. 

At 7:30 am, flames broke out in the back of the home while families prepared their children for school. LaTorella tried to alert the families inside to little avail, so instead she flagged down a truck.

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“I just ran to the house and was just screaming ‘Fire! Call 911,’ LaTorella said. “I gave my daughter my phone, told her to call 911, and to go bang on the doors on the street and ask them to call 911.”

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Finally, after the RN and the truck driver ran into the house shouting, the family emerged unharmed. “One of the children came out and I said ‘you guys gotta get out, gotta get out of the house, there’s a fire,’ she explained. “I brought them across the street to safety – they were scared, crying. I was just hugging them, comforting them, telling them that everything’s going to be OK.”

"Everybody said that was really heroic. I don't consider it heroic at all. I think anybody — you or me or anybody — would have done the same thing," LaTorella said. "Of course, you're concerned. You have family and you're banging on doors on a house that's on fire, but I knew there was a family there, so my instinct just told me that they had to get out of the house."

What Started The Fire? 

Officials are still continuing to investigate the fire, but have determined that it started in the back of the home on the second floor and burned inside the walls. “There’s a lot of smoke and water damage,” said Winchester Fire Chief Steven Osborne. “They won’t be able to live there for quite some time – it needs a lot of rehab.”

A woman who lived in the home is eternally grateful to LaTorella for being in the right place at the right time. “We don’t even have the words to thank you,” she said. “I’m sorry I’m getting emotional, but thank God you were there, and I don’t even know how to thank you.”

After helping save the family, LaTorella continued walking her daughter to elementary school. Then went to work where she was celebrated by her fellow nurses and administrators for her heroic efforts. 


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