Upshur County teen credited with saving woman from her burning home


Ian Strader

BUCKHANNON, W.Va. — A senior student at Buckhannon-Upshur High School is hailed as a hero after he helped his neighbor out of her burning home last weekend in the French Creek community of Upshur County.

Ian Strader, age 18, was headed out to his car to grab his laptop for some school work on Saturday. He noticed smoke and heard the smoke alarms ringing in the home of his neighbor. According to the Banks Volunteer Fire Department Chief John Roby, Ian wasted no time springing into action.

“Without hesitation, Ian ran up to the back door that was open and saw the occupant in the hallway. He proceeded into the hallway and assisted her outside and to her mother’s home next door,” Roby wrote in a memo to the State Fire Marshal and the Upshur County Commission.

The neighbor was recovering from a broken leg and wasn’t moving very well. She was also unable to access her walker in the burning house. Strader said he tried to get to the walker but could not due to the heat and smoke.

“I had her put her hands on my shoulders and I held under her arms so I could basically be her walker. I walked her down from her house all the way to her mom’s because the smoke was starting to pick up and come out the house door onto the porch,” Ian told MetroNews.

He was also able to get the woman’s dog out of the home as the two of them exited the burning house to safety.

“The dog was staying right around her, so as we were walking I just kept making sure it was walking with us,” said Ian.

“Without this young man’s heroic act, the occupant of this residence would have been seriously injured or worse in this fire,” wrote Roby.

“What else would I have done is what I think about after the fact. There was nothing else going through my mind other than thinking go and help her get out,” Ian added.

State Fire Marshal Ken Tyree is due to be on hand to recognize Strader at the Thursday meeting of the Upshur County Commission.  Meanwhile, Ian’s mother has established a Go-Fund Me page to assist the woman with her expenses amid the loss.


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