Christmas Lights couple among people that saved lives in Pontiac House Fire

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PONTIAC – A couple driving around looking at Christmas Lights Sunday ended up being part of a heroic effort by area residents that resulted in the lives of two people saved in Pontiac Sunday evening.

The Pontiac Fire Department reported they were in the process of trying to find out details about the courageous acts of the citizens after reports of the fire came Tuesday.

According to Pontiac Fire officials, it was shortly after 5:25 pm when area resident Dean Tunberg was walking in the 300 block of W. South St. in Pontiac and came upon a house on fire. Around that same time, a couple driving through the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights arrived at the fire while Tunberg attempted to alert residents inside the structure.

Rodger and Julie King, the couple, stopped their car and joined in the effort to alert the occupants inside. Rodger King was able to alert one of the people inside and alerted her to exit the house. King was told there was still another resident upstairs to which in turn, King himself proceeded upstairs to assist the occupant out of the building.

By the time all had exited the building, a volunteer firefighter Paul Thorson drove by and noticed the house was on fire. Thorson stopped his truck and grabbed a fire extinguisher, trying to extinguish the fire outside. By that time the Pontiac Fire Department had arrived on the scene.

“On behalf of the Pontiac Fire Department, I would like to commend Dean Turnberg, Paul Thorson, as well as, Rodger and Julie King for their courageous acts that evening,” said Fire Chief Jacob Campbell in a statement Wednesday. “As a result of a collective effort by all the citizens involved, two occupants were able to escape a very dangerous situation.”

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