Lincoln man sees house on fire, rushes to get people out

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Monday night, a fire started in a garage near 70th Street and Holmes Park.

The fire was caused by discarded fireworks and resulted in almost $100,000 in damage. But it could have been worse, if not for one man’s quick action.

Joel Stille of Lincoln was visiting his mother-in-law with his family when he noticed the fire from across the street.

“I kind of saw a reflection in the neighbors’ window across the street, wondering what was going on,” he said.

Immediately, Stille had his wife call 911 and ran over to evacuate the family.

“I ran over to the door to get those guys out,” he said. “Obviously they were confused, but they got out quick, and that was what was most important.”

After being a respiratory therapist for 17 years, Stille said he’s learned how to keep calm in emergency situations.

“It’s just kind of a mode you go into in an emergency,” he said. “It doesn’t hit me until afterwards, and then … took me a while, I don’t think I went to bed until 3 a.m. after all that.”

At the end of it all, Stille’s actions may have been what saved the family of four and their two dogs.

“I’m just glad I was able to be there and help them,” he said. “I know they’ve got a mess to clean up, but I’m just glad that they’re OK, and you know, stuff can be replaced.”

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