‘It weighs heavy on your mind’: Highview Fire chief reflects on life-saving rescue attempt

‘It weighs heavy on your mind’: Highview Fire chief reflects on life-saving rescue attempt

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Louisville Metro Arson Bureau is still investigating the cause of a deadly fire in Highview. A department official said the fire happened on Sept. 23 in the 8100 block of Apple Valley Drive.

Officials with HFD told WAVE 3 News there were six people in the home when the smoke detector was activated. A woman and her husband escaped, but the husband went back inside the home to try to rescue his mother.

Highview Fire Chief Dave Goldsmith, who lives adjacent to the home, was awakened by his radio and also went inside to save the man’s mother.

Wednesday, Goldsmith reflected on the experience.

“I’ve always thought about, what if my neighbor’s house caught on fire?" Goldsmith said. "What would I do? Where would I be?”

Goldsmith said he walked outside his house, saw his neighbors, looked to his left, and saw the smoke coming from their house.

“There was considerable damage in the garage and that’s where the fire started and it did extend into the house," Goldsmith said.

Goldsmith told WAVE 3 News he ran to the home’s front door and saw his neighbor John trying to get his mother, who was unconscious, down the stairs. That’s when the 33-year veteran firefighter grabbed his gear from his car and jumped into action.

“I crawled in and grabbed her and pulled her down to the bottom of the steps,” Goldsmith said, "and I was trying to get her out when the engine pulled up. And then the captain of the engine came over and helped me get her outside. And then they had two other guys that went in there and got John out.”

Goldsmith said John died soon after the fire from smoke inhalation. His mother survived for several days but died on Wednesday.

He said it’s haunting to think about, even a week later.

“When you’re at the bottom of the steps and you can’t see up the steps because of the smoke, and you’re talking to somebody that’s on the steps just a few minutes before and know that he didn’t make it, it does weigh heavy on your mind," Goldsmith said. "What else could I have done?”

Over the weekend, a woman was arrested in connection to the fire.

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Get the WAVE 3 News app on ROKU, Apple TV and Amazon Fire. (Source: WAVE 3 News)