A maintenance worker for the Washington Department of Transportation was awarded for his heroic effort to save lives in a fire on Blewett Pass last month.
In the early morning of Jan. 26, Brandon Haight was checking out road conditions along US 97 Blewett Pass when he saw an unusual glow, followed by dark smoke, behind a home near the highway.
“At first I thought it might just be a burn pile behind the house, but then I could see the smoke coming out of the eaves,” he said.
Once Brandon realized the home was on fire, he radioed the WSDOT traffic management center to report the fire and, because there was no cell service where Brandon was, to make the emergency calls.
That’s when Brandon started pounding on the doors and windows, yelling, ‘Fire!’ until people started running out of the house. He said it wasn’t long until the house was fully engulfed in flames.
As the fire spread to an attached RV, Brandon was told someone was sleeping inside. Brandon pounded on the door, which awakened the person inside and they were able to escape uninjured.
When firefighters arrived, Brandon stayed to assist with traffic control as crews worked to battle the blaze, and the heat could be felt from the road.
According to the Washington State Patrol, Brandon’s intervention most likely saved lives.
For his heroic efforts, Brandon was awarded the Safety Challenge Coin by WSDOT and the State Patrol.