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Camps McTureous, Courtney firefighters honored for dedication

Date Posted: 2004-03-25

CAMP MCTUREOUS, Okinawa, Japan — Since the tragic events of September 11, 2001, America’s firefighters have been brought into the view of the public eye for the heroics they perform daily. The firefighters here are no different, with their commitment in keeping the Marines and their families on Okinawa out of harm’s way.

According to Mark S. Sileikis, assistant fire chief, Camp McTureous Fire Station, on the morning of Feb. 6, firefighters from the McTureous and Courtney Fire Stations responded to a 911 call from Camp McTureous’ housing area. “We could see the smoke coming from the housing area from right here at the station,” Sileikis said.

Upon arriving on the scene the firefighters were met by a 2-year-old child and the youngster’s babysitter. The babysitter told the firefighters the fire started in a second floor bedroom.

Isolating the fire, the firefighters were able to think quickly and only used what was needed to extinguish the blaze, rather than flooding the house with excess water.

No one was hurt in the fire and the firefighters succeeded in minimizing the damage done to the home.

Col. David A. Kelley, camp commander, Camps Courtney and McTureous, presented the 13 Okinawan firefighters from both camps with certificates of appreciation March 5 at the Camp McTureous Fire Station.

The certificates were awarded to honor the men for their professional and rapid response to this fire and other situations they constantly encounter.

“After hearing about this fire, I tried to think of the last time we thanked these men for what they do and realized it had been far too long,” Kelley explained.

The firefighters were happy to receive the certificates but according to Kazunari Kinjo, fire captain, putting out fires and helping people is what they are trained for and here to do.

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