Arlington Code Compliance Officer Hailed for Actions During House Fire

It started out as a routine day working in the field for Code Compliance Officer Gabriel Sanchez. Today, he is hailed by his code comrades as the West Side Hero.

Sanchez’ response in an emergency led to being presented a Letter of Commendation from Fire Chief/Director of Emergency Management Don Crowson on June 11, 2018. Sanchez was commended for his “quick and decisive actions to move the cars and crowd to ensure the safety of onlookers and allow access for fire units” during a fire event that took place on May 14, 2018.

Sanchez had left a notice of violation on a door and as he was returning to his truck, he heard a loud crash. Black smoke began rising from the area where the sound originated.

In an instant, Sanchez radioed in to get the fire department dispatched to the house, now on fire. Without hesitation, Sanchez ran to the back of the involved house and proceeded to knock on windows to alert and assist anyone that might be inside. After no response, he ran to the front of the house where a neighbor was knocking on the front door.

Sanchez quickly went to the neighboring homes and tried to contact anyone that might be home to warn them of the fire. As he was returning to the home on fire, a loud explosion came from the vicinity of the air conditioning unit.

By this time, neighbors were gathering, and cars were stopping in front of the house and a crowd was beginning to form. Sanchez took control of the situation, ensuring the safety of the neighbors and citizens by asking for those who had come upon the scene in their vehicles to get back in them and move them clear of the area. By doing so, the Fire Department was able to stage five fire trucks close to the house.

Sanchez was instrumental in keeping traffic cleared for the Fire Department and at the same time directing the crowd of people gathering away from the dangerous situation that was quickly developing. He moved swiftly and took command of the situation and ensured the safety of the neighbors was of the upmost importance.

Sanchez has been a Code Compliance Officer with the City of Arlington for more than 10 years, and prior to that, he served his country in the U.S. Marine Corps for 12 years.

For more information, contact the Action Center at 817-459-6777.

 

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