Monroe Woman Meets Firefighters Who Saved Her Life

MONROE, N.C. — It was an emotional reunion Thursday for three Monroe firefighters and a woman they saved from a burning building.

Crews rescued Anita Plater from an apartment fire the day before Thanksgiving. The fire broke out in the apartment on Fairley Avenue around 8 p.m. that day.

Firefighters found heavy smoke and fire coming out of the building, and were told there may have been people trapped inside.

Crews entered the building and used a thermal imaging camera to search through the smoke. They quickly found Plater, who was unconscious but breathing. Firefighters said the flames had begun to roll across the ceiling above them as they pulled Plater from the apartment.

She was taken to the hospital with serious injuries and treated for smoke inhalation.

On Thursday, Plater visited Fire Station 1 to meet three of her four rescuers.

She hugged and thanked Captain Keith Starnes and firefighters Josh Hawk and Chad Aldridge for saving her life. The fourth rescuer, Captain Charlie  Porter, was off duty.

She became emotional while telling them how much their bravery and selflessness meant to her.

“I am so grateful! Y’all are the only reason why I stand in front of y’all right now, and if there’s anything I can do please let me know,” Plater said.

Captain Keith Starnes said a situation like this is what his department trains for every day, but meeting someone they’ve rescued is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Monroe Fire Chief Ron Fowler said the quick actions by firefighters involved saved Plater’s life. Chief Fowler said those involved in the rescue will be formally and appropriately recognized at a later time.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.