WARNER ROBINS -- Three Marines and an Army medic who helped alert and evacuate residents from a burning apartment complex July 3 were honored Thursday by the Central Georgia Marine Corps League Detachment 1373.
Marine Gunnery Sgt. Dan DeMuro, Staff Sgt. Travis Romig and Staff Sgt. Cory Flowers were honored along with Army medic Robert Fioramonti for their rescue efforts at Sandpiper Apartments where both DeMuro and Fioramonti lived.
DeMuro said Romig and Flowers were visiting him when the fire started. He said they immediately began alerting neighbors and helping evacuate the unit. The three were joined by Fioramonti who was doing the same.
The service men’s efforts included helping 87-year-old Mattie McDaniel from her apartment along with her daughter and caregiver, Patricia McDaniel. Mattie McDaniel is confined to bed, but the Marines carried her to a neighboring breezeway on a seat cushion.
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Gunnery Sgt. Jason Colburn, who is roommates with DeMuro, was in Atlanta at the time of the fire. The two lost everything in the blaze.
According to reports, the fire started about 7 p.m. and quickly destroyed the 16-unit building located in the 800 block of Leisure Lake Drive. It was contained and brought under control by the Warner Robins Fire Department by 9 p.m., preventing further damage.
Jennifer Powell, a spokeswoman for the department, said the cause of the fire is listed as probable lightning strike.
No one was reported injured in the blaze, thanks in large part to the actions of the servicemen.
DeMuro, Romig, Flowers and Colburn are stationed at Robins Air Force Base with the Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HMLA)-773.
John Harmon, commandant of the local Marine Corps League, presented the three Marines involved in the fire with awards and letters of commendation to go in their service files.
The same is being done for Fioramonti, who was not present at the event.
Harmon congratulated the Marines for their actions helping others without regard to personal safety. He said those actions reflected well on them individually and on their training and experience as Marines. He said they were exemplary of the spirit of the Marines’ motto of Semper Fidelis, or always faithful.
The league has spent the last month helping DeMuro and Colburn relocate and replace what was lost in the fire. Harmon thanked various individuals and organizations, including Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, for their help in aiding the Marines.
In turn, DeMuro presented Harmon with a certificate thanking the league for its help in relocating him and Colburn. DeMuro said because of the league’s efforts new housing had been secured and household items replaced.
“We’ve been called heroes, but we were just doing what I imagine anyone would do,” DeMuro said. “But still we’re grateful for the honor and all the help we’ve received from the Marine Corps League and from Mount Calvary, which provided home cooked meals for us and so much more.”
Central Georgia Marine Corps League Detachment 1373 serves to help preserve the traditions and promote the interests of the United States Marine Corps and its members. The group meets the fourth Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Flint Energies building on Ga. 96. For information, contact Harmon at 918-3675.
Contact Michael W. Pannell at firstname.lastname@example.org.