Elderly woman rescued from fire thanks to quick actions of letter carrier

MILWAUKEE -- An elderly woman was saved after fire broke out at a home near N. 14th Street and Olive Thursday, thanks to the quick actions of a mail man.

Milwaukee Fire Department officials say the letter carrier was making delivers on his route when he noticed a fire at the home, and an elderly woman trying to get out. The mail man wasn't able to get the woman out, but he was a calming influence during a chaotic time! The mail man called 911, and the fire department responded to the scene.

Fire officials were able to get the woman out of the house, and she was transported to Columbia St. Mary's for treatment of burns and smoke inhalation.

Like most letter carriers, it take exceptional circumstances to slow Greg Lesnjak while he's on his route. "I kind of smelled something, but I didn't really think anything of it. I kept on delivering. All I heard was some knocking on the door and some lady said 'call 911' and then it just hit me that, oh my God, this lady's house is on fire!" Lesnjak said.

Lesnjak said he waited with the woman and tried to keep her calm until fire officials arrived. "I talked to her a couple times throughout the course of those few minutes, and she seemed like she was fairly coherent, so I wasn't too worried, but I couldn't get the door open, so I couldn't help her," Lesnjak said.

Battalion Chief Ralph Gallow says the fire was on the verge of engulfing the first floor of the home, so Lesnjak's 911 call was critical to saving the woman's life. "Timing was everything on this one. A little bit longer, and we would've had a very poor result," Gallow said.

According to a Milwaukee Fire Department spokesperson, the unidentified woman suffered injuries that are not believed to be life threatening. Damage estimates are around $40,000 for the house, and $10,000 for its contents. The Milwaukee Fire Chief commended the efforts of both the fire crews and Lesnjak for their efforts in saving the woman's life.