Meriden Honors Firefighters, Good Samaritans Who Helped Family Escape Fire

NBC Universal, Inc.

A family thanked the good Samaritans and firefighters who helped them escape as flames tore through their home in Meriden about two weeks ago.

“If it wasn’t for the neighbors, the police, the firemen, I don’t know where we would be,” said Monique Jones of Meriden.

Now, Mekhi McLean is doing OK, but he had been sleeping as the fire took off and the unconscious 17-year-old was pulled out by firefighters and taken down a ladder.


“You just react. Just want to get him out of the building,” said Meriden firefighter Dave Waskowicz.

“To help everybody out, I’m pretty sure why everyone does it. At the end of the day that’s what we signed up to do,” said firefighter Shane Henion.

On Monday, these firefighters and others, along with a trio of passersby, were honored with the Spirit of Meriden Award at a City Council meeting.

“They all answered the call that day,” Meriden Mayor Kevin Scarpati said.

At first the family inside in the home – a mother, her son and grandkids – didn’t realize anything was wrong.

It was three good Samaritans in the area who tried to alert them, including by breaking into the home.

“[What did you decide to do?] Pull over and see what we could do to help,” James Sadlowski, one of the good Samaritans, said.

“I saw the flames and I just ran across the street and started banging on the door, ringing the doorbell,” said Bill Lombardi, another good Samaritan.

“The fire was on the opposite side we broke in from. But when I ran up the staircase, you could feel it,” said Dylan Saradeth, the third good Samaritan.

They're all so thankful the family is doing OK, including Mekhi.

The senior is back at Maloney High School after several days of being in critical condition and needing special treatment at a hospital in the Bronx.

“I appreciate everyone who helped my family,” Jones said.

We’re told four firefighters ended up being hurt and some are still recovering.

Contact Us