Appleton Fire Department
Just after 7am, December 19, 1999, the Appleton Fire Department was dispatched to a house fire on the city’s southwest side. While on the way, dispatchers told them that several calls were coming in reporting that flames were coming out of the home’s second story windows. Reports also came in that someone may still be inside the burning home. Engine 323 was the first to arrive. The engine crew consisted of Lieutenant Larry O’Rourke, Driver/Engineer Al Stuart, Firefighter Linda Kornely, and Firefighter Roman Zareczny. The crew pulled a 1-3/4 inch hoseline into the house and took it directly up the stairway to the second floor. When they reached the second floor, they were greeted by the quickly growing fire and thick smoke that had been reported to them. As they crawled forward, they knocked down much of this fire and continued on through the thick smoke. They crawled forward through the heated living room, towards the kitchen, where they located Joyce Coutts, lying motionless on the floor. At this time, Firefighter Kornely, aided by two members of the truck company, removed her from the burning home. To allow her removal, Lieutenant O’Rourke and Firefighter Zareczny had to continue fighting the fire. Once outside she was rushed to St. Elizabeth Hospital, where after a five day stay, she was released. Joyce Coutts is now doing fine and has stopped by the fire station to thank the firefighters for all of their effort.