Red Cross salutes Starksboro man

STARKSBORO — A Starksboro man was among the seven Vermonters that the American Red Cross honored last Thursday in an event celebrating “everyday people” and the heroic things they do in our community.
The Everyday Heroes Awards are celebrations all over the country at which the Red Cross honors people who personify the Red Cross Mission of service and help in local communities. Everyday heroes are all around us — the good Samaritan who intervenes when someone is in an accident, or the watchful neighbor seeing a need in a community. These awards shine light on selflessness of heart and heroism of character.
Chris Fanning, owner of a Starksboro plumbing, heating and air conditioning company called Pride Mechanical, got a service call in Milton this past Nov. 4. He went to the client at around 10:30 a.m. and when he arrived he saw smoke billowing from a nearby home — one belonging to 83-year-old Marie O’Connor.
After wrenching open the front door of the home, Fanning found O’Connor stuck in her motorized wheelchair unable to get out. Fanning got down low and was able to pull the woman out of the house. A few moments later, there was an explosion and the entire house became engulfed in flames.
Nearly 30 firefighters from Milton, Georgia, Colchester and St. Michael’s College departments responded to the single-story home.
The house, valued around $150,000, was a total loss, but thanks to Fanning, Marie O’Connor is lucky to be alive.
 “The Red Cross sees a perfect fit in honoring people who’ve gone the extra mile on behalf of someone else, or have risked their lives for the sake of another,” said Maria Devlin, CEO for the American Red Cross in New Hampshire and Vermont. “This selflessness embodies the work that Red Cross volunteers around the world do every single day.”A

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