LOGAN, W.Va., May 4, 2012 – Mike Walls, a meter electrician at Appalachian Power’s Logan Service Center, was named a 2012 recipient of the American Electric Power (AEP) Chairman’s Life Saving Award.
One morning last December on his work commute from Jeffery, W.Va., to Logan, Walls, a former volunteer firefighter, noticed what turned out to be a house on fire. “At first it looked like steam coming from a heat pump,” Walls said. “I actually passed by the house and then saw the flames in the rear-view mirror. I turned around and went back as quickly as I could.”
Walls blew the horn on his vehicle and pounded on the door of the home, trying to signal danger to anyone inside. No one responded. Walls and another passerby who stopped then began stripping siding off the home to prevent the fire from spreading.
As Walls prepared to break the door down, an elderly woman and her grandson, a man in his early twenties, emerged from the home. The two had been awakened by Walls’ pounding.
Walls and the other passerby continued to strip siding and spray water on the burning home, and extinguished the fire just as firefighters from a local department arrived.
“It is certainly not something you do every day, but it was the right thing to do,” Walls said. “I’ve seen people die in house fires. I wasn’t going to let that happen here.”
The AEP Chairman’s Life Saving Award recognizes employees for acts of bravery in helping others. The carved wooden award is of a hand reaching out and grasping another hand.
# # #
Corporate Communications Manager