JOPLIN, Mo. — The fourth of July turned out to be a little bit more eventful in a Joplin neighborhood than anticipated.
And because of the quick action of a local university student, no one was seriously injured.
Freshman Ryan Johnson, who plays on the MSSU football team, was enjoying the fourth of July at the home of the team’s Manager J.T. Lancaster when something caused him to spring into action without a moment’s thought.
T.J. Lancaster, MSSU Football Team Manager, said, “So we have some of the guys over to feed them sometimes, and so we had a couple of guys over, they had ate and had left but he stayed behind to help clean up”
That decision to stay turned out to be a good one for the residents of a house across the way.
“Johnson was sitting here near the intersection of 27th and New Hampshire when he sprinted across the way to a garage that was on fire.”
The family at this home was shooting off fireworks in the front yard and didn’t realize the garage behind them had caught fire from a stray firework.
Ryan Johnson said, “And the fire was getting bigger and I was scared the whole house was going to catch on fire, because the roof was starting to get hot so I started grabbing stuff and grabbed all the stuff that looked like it was on fire the most and then I see a water hose and someone gives me the fire hose and gives it to me.”
With the help of the residents of the house, the fire was mostly put out by the time the fire department arrived a few minutes later.
“It was just something that had to happen or someone could have been hurt.”
“I think he was brave for doing it,” said Lancaster.
Johnson didn’t know it at the time, but an infant and her mother were in house a short distance away, unaware the garage was on fire until another family member got them to safety.