Quick Response and a Steady Hand Makes CoolSys Team Lead a Housefire Hero
CoolSys technicians are known for “putting out fires” for their customers — stepping in during times of urgent need to solve problems. But it’s an entirely different story when you remove the quotation marks. Just ask Salt Lake City Team Lead BJ Medford, who literally put out a fire and saved the lives of a young couple and their pets.
After working an extra-long shift on August 19, 2022, BJ arrived home exhausted. He and his wife were getting ready for bed when they smelled smoke — which soon gave way to the distinctive scent of burning plastic.
When his wife went outside to retrieve their dogs at around 1:00 a.m., an unusual orange glow a few streets away seemed, at first, to be a fire in the nearby mountains. Joining her outside, BJ realized what was happening: a house was on fire. The blaze had reached at least 20 feet high, BJ says, from the ground to the peak of the roof. He called 911 right away, and when he noticed there was no sign of immediate emergency response, he hopped into his truck and headed for the house.
Into the Inferno
When BJ arrived, he discovered the entire back and deck of the home engulfed in flames. He ran to the front of the house and banged on the door to alert anyone who might be inside. Allison Kloos, who lived in the home with Spencer Jolley, responded, and after yelling to her to get out of the house, BJ returned to the back with a garden hose.
At the same time, Spencer ran onto the deck — which collapsed under his weight from the fire damage. Spencer fell about six feet to the ground, landing on his head among the burning debris. “When he stood up,” BJ says, “His hand and head were on fire.” BJ extinguished the flames on Spencer with the garden hose then continued to fight the housefire until the fire crew arrived. By then, he had the flames under control.
Recognition for a Job Well Done
Spencer sustained third-degree burns over 21 percent of his body and was in a hospital burn unit for 38 days. While Allison received a third-degree burn on her arm, she was able to be released from the hospital for outpatient treatment. In the days after the fire, the two families became friends, and word of BJ’s heroism spread. During a town hall meeting, the City of Harrisville, Utah, and the North View Fire District each presented BJ with a commendation for his bravery and quick thinking.
Amazingly, this isn’t the first time BJ has heroically come to the aid of someone in need. Last winter, he put out a fire in a big rig trailer on the roadside with just a small fire extinguisher and a bucket of snow. He also saved lives in the aftermath of a 15-car pileup outside of Sturgis, South Dakota.
Thank you, BJ, for your selfless acts of bravery to help others in crisis. Special thanks, too, to Dustin Holman, Salt Lake City service manager, for sharing the story of BJ’s extraordinary heroism.